Flea bites on babay is rampant and commonly noticed especially in unhealthy environment. Fleas are small insects that live off the blood of warm-blooded animals. You may find them, especially in summer and springs, usually in the fur of your pets if you have any, in tall grasses, rugs, and doormats in the house. It is not so popular that fleas are capable of carrying diseases, however, parents with newborns should take adequate care to see that their babies are protected from flea bites as there is a chance of flea bites becoming infectious and leading to complications.
You should always watch out for your baby’s skin for any sign of flea bites. As babies are incapable of clearly expressing their feelings, this will help relieve symptoms and any discomfort that follows, at the earliest. You may not know what flea bites on your baby would be like if they got bitten, or even what fleas look like and ways to protect your baby from flea bites. All that and more has been discussed in this article. As you read further, you will find the answers you’re looking for.
WHAT DO FLEAS LOOK LIKE?
Fleas are not flying insects. They have strong claws that enable them to remain “glued” to their preys, mouthparts adapted for piercing skin and sucking blood. They are light brown-black and have a high reproductive rate.
WHAT DO FLEABITES LOOK LIKE?
Often, flea bites appear in small clusters or a straight line. Identifying flea bites on your baby will help you get rid of them quicker. Generally, flea bites are different from other insect bites because they usually appear in clusters of 3 tiny red bumps. However, what flea bites look like may differ between individuals, depending on the number of bites and personal sensitivities. For some people, flea bites may grow swollen or leave blisters.
FLEA BITES ON BABY
Just as we have said, being able to identify flea bites on your baby is essential to deciding what treatment and necessary actions to take to prevent further contact with the insect. Recall that fleas can hide on rugs and doormats. While your baby crawls, they may get infested with fleas. Flea bites on babies are usually found around their joints such as knees or ankles, which may progress to become infectious as your baby scratches or opens the skin around the bite if you let them continue crawling.
To look for flea bites on your baby, first, undress them from head-toe and carefully check for marks on their whole body, including their scalp. Other common places to check for flea bites on babies are their legs, ankles, groin, waist, buttocks, thighs, and lower abdomen. Flea bites on babies may lead to some consequences and complications, but they could also be treated and even prevented.
SYMPTOMS OF FLEA BITES ON BABY
Since babies are unable to clearly express their feelings, and flea bites can generally be painful and cause some discomfort, your baby is most likely to cry a lot if bitten by a flea. However, crying is just one sign that could be an indication of many other things other than a flea bite.
The following signs and symptoms are caused by flea bites:
- Inconsolable crying
- Clusters of tiny red bumps
- Some children may develop rashes or hives around the flea bite as an allergic reaction
DANGERS OF FLEA BITES ON BABY
When fleas bite your baby it may pose some dangers such as;
1. Bacterial Infection
Fleas are vector parasites that could carry bacteria that could cause diseases such as typhus, and plagues. Also, scratching the flea bites may cause further complications and lead to fungal and bacterial infections.
2. Flea Bite Dermatitis
Skin problems such as dermatitis and allergic urtricarial have been reported in many cases of a flea bite. Some children get allergic when bitten by a flea, so the affected area of the skin is surrounded by a red halo and looks swollen.
3. Tapeworm Infection
This is caused by ingesting food or water that has been contaminated with eggs or larvae of a tapeworm. According to the Mar Vista Animal Medical Centre, fleas can also carry tapeworms. Typically, flea larvae ingest tapeworm eggs, and when these fleas mature, cats and dogs eat the infected flea during grooming. However, in theory, an infant can get infected with tapeworm if they ingest a flea.
4. Cat Scratch Disease
This is caused by B.henselea, a strain of a bacteria known as Bartonella. This bacterium can be carried in a cat’s blood for months to years. However, it has been discovered that fleas can also indirectly carry this bacterium. In a study carried out by Dr. Ed Breitschwerdt, a professor of internal medicine in the department of Clinical Sciences, one of the world’s leading experts on Bartonella, he discovered that there are cases of children and adults with chronic, blood-borne Bartonella infections, which are from strains of the bacteria that are mostly transmitted to cats (B.henselae) and dogs (B.vinsonii subsp berkhoffii) by fleas and other insects.
5. Flea-Borne Typhus Fever
It is a serious ailment is also due to flea bites. It causes fever, chills, vomiting, nausea, loss of appetite, and rashes, lasting for about a week. Other diseases may also be caused by flea bites, such as Papular urtricaria, Murine typhus, and Tungiasis.
HOW TO PROTECT YOUR BABY FROM FLEA BITES
To protect your baby from flea bites, you need to answer some questions:
- Are your pets infested with fleas?
- Is your home infested with fleas?
- Is your baby exposed to fleas in a location outdoors?
If your answers are mostly yes, then you need to review all these. Fleas can be killed by pesticide treatment of the house and by treating pets with pet-friendly medications such as Frontline or advantage which you could get from your vet.
Here are some preventive measures that will help keep your baby safe from flea bites:
1. Keep Your Baby Away From Infected Pets
It is tough work, but keep an eye out for your pets against fleas. If you see flea bite marks on any of your pets, it is best to quarantine such pets so that other pets and your baby do not get infected. Ensure that your baby stays away from where the infected pet sleeps until the fleas are eliminated.
2. Change Pet’s Bedding
When fleas infect your pets, they don’t remain on their bodies, rather they hide inside your pet’s beddings and any warm place they could find. So when you notice the infestation, take out their old beddings and replace them with a new one or wash the old one in very hot water to kill both fleas and their larvae.
3. Vacuum Clean Your House
Fleas can hide in tiny spaces where sweeping brooms won’t be able to fetch them out. This applies also to their eggs. But when you thoroughly and properly vacuum clean your house, you will be able to get rid of all fleas and their eggs.
While vacuum cleaning might not be enough, you could flea-proof your house using a mixture of water and diatomaceous earth (DE). Spread the mixture around the floors, carpets, furniture, walls, and other areas of the house. The DE mixture is capable of killing both fleas and bugs. You could also flea-proof with a mixture of table salt and Borax laundry booster.
Mix properly, and then sprinkle on your floors, carpets, and furniture. Give the mixture 2 days before vacuuming your house. If you intend to stay in the house during this time, you may want to cover your furniture with a sheet. After you have flea-proofed and vacuuming your house, dump the canister in the outside garbage or if you have a vacuum bag, dump it in it, but be sure to put an active flea collar in your vacuum bag.
5. Use Insect Repellants
To protect your baby from flea bites, you can apply insect repellant lotion all over their body, especially if the source of the flea is external. Apply the lotion all over the exposed areas of their body before going out. You could also use insect repellant fabric, roll-ons and sprays to protect your baby from flea bites and other insects.
6. Call For Pest Control
In any case, if you cannot get rid of fleas in your house by yourself, you could call on a pest control agency for assistance. Depending on the severity of the infestation, you may be advised to schedule a professional pest control program once a year or two in your house and surrounding areas, to prevent future infestation.
WHAT TO DO WHEN YOU NOTICE FLEA BITES ON BABY
First thing you want to do when you notice flea bites on baby is to consult your baby’s pediatrician and your vet. Together, they will b able to help you treat and relieve your baby of any discomfort.
You could also try any of these at-home remedies to relieve the symptoms of flea bites:
- Use Cold Compression: Doing this help reduce the soreness, redness, and itching caused by the bite.
- Aloe Vera Gel: The aloe vera gel is an anti-inflammatory and ant-bacterial product so using it over flea bites will also offer some relief to your baby and protect the bite from getting infected with bacteria.
- Use Calamine Lotion: This medication is often used to treat mild itchiness from sunburn, poison ivy, and insect bites. It helps reduce allergic reactions, soothes the skin, and reduces redness and itching.
- Trim Your Baby’s Nails: Scratching the flea bites area will worsen the condition with secondary bacterial or fungal infections. So trimming your baby’s nails will help prevent this.
Babies are most susceptible to flea bites especially since they are always found playing on the ground or crawling, and fleas are tiny insects that can hide anywhere in your rugs, carpets, doormats, furniture, and the furs of your pets.
Flea bites on babies can lead to a lot of complications, so it is best to protect your baby the moment you notice that your home or pets are infested by fleas. Also, carefully examine your baby’s body for any indication of flea bites and consult with your baby’s pediatrician for treatment if necessary.