Mommy blogger Marion Smith is a mom of twins, so when the mozzies come out at night, she has double trouble. Here are some of her trusted tips for identifying, preventing – and treating mosquito bites on babies
I am a mosquito magnet, so if there is a lone mosquito in the room you can be sure it will be sucking on me and no one else. The big welts and the itch can drive anyone crazy, so one can just imagine what it must be like for babies who probably can’t even tell us when the mozzies have bitten.
Identifying mosquito bites
- Swollen reddish areas, can be puffy
- Slight stinging
- Baby scratching or crying without any noticeable reason
- Raised skin with a prominent white centre and a red spot
Treatments and mosquito deterrents
Natural remedies from your pantry
There are both home remedies and store bought remedies. From the pantry, lemon is a winner. It has excellent anti-inflammatory and anaesthetic properties. This makes it one of the best home remedies available. Cut a lemon into two and apply directly over the bite. You can also use fresh lemon juice for application on the skin.
Other useful items are garlic, bicarb, ice, salt, Aloe Vera (which is a natural antiseptic), and honey which is used for many home remedies.
Expressed breast milk can help to soothe a mosquito bite, bee sting, or other insect bite, like in the same way it works to help other skin conditions.
Store bought remedies are over-the-counter calamine lotion or hydrocortisone cream to treat as needed.
Highly recommended are Pigeon anti-mosquito baby wipes (I use them on my skin too). These are effective for approximately six hours, and contain natural ingredients.
Keeping mozzies away from your baby
The Elektra Anti-mozzi lamp is not only environmentally friendly, but it operates with no sound and has an LED night light. Easy to clean, low electricity usage and safe both indoors and outdoors, it’s an essential item for a South African home.
Anti-mosquito patches by Pigeon come in packs of 24 and have a fresh citrus scent. Deet-free and safe for babies, they are easy to use: just place one on the pram or baby’s clothes. It is a patch that is soaked in the essential oils and natural herbs that insects detest the most.
Prevention tips to protect your baby
- Keep children away from bodies of water
- Hang a mosquito net over their cots and beds
- Use window screens
- Mosquitoes are not fans of fans
- Mosquitoes are attracted to dark colours like navy and black, so dress in lighter colours
- Don’t use ultraviolet, blue or fluorescent bulbs
- Don’t go out at dawn and dusk when they are most active
Remember that only female mosquitoes bite, and males feed on nectar. Mosquito bites affect people differently, and although generally just an annoyance for most of us, we still want to try and avoid that itch (and those welts on your precious baby’s delicate skin).