what should I do about ant bites on my 3 yr old son?

My little boy got into an ant bed yesterday. When i look at the welts on his feet and hands it looked to be only 20 or so bites. This morning when I looked at his feet there were around a 100 heads. I counted them. It looks pretty bad but he seems to be fine. No fever or acting oddly. He doesnt even seem to be bothered by them unless I mess with his feet. Should I worry about them or just keep an eye on them?

13 Answers

  • 1 decade ago
    Favorite Answer

    As odd as it sounds, the meat tenderizer recommendation is one shared by several hospitals. Here is what at least 2 hospital sites recommend:

    Insect bites

    Main symptoms:

    Itchy insect bites: Bites of mosquitoes, chiggers (harvest mites), fleas, and bedbugs usually cause itchy, red bumps.

    Painful insect bites: Bites of horseflies, deer flies, gnats, fire ants, harvester ants, blister beetles, and centipedes usually cause a painful, red bump. Within a few hours, fire ant bites can change to blisters or pimples.

    A severe life-threatening allergic reaction is called anaphylaxis.

    See also bee or yellow jacket stings, tick bites, spider bites, fire ant bites

    Call 911 now if:

    There are symptoms of anaphylaxis (your child may need an ambulance.)

    Symptoms of anaphylaxis include difficulty breathing or wheezing; hoarseness or cough with rapid onset; difficulty swallowing or slurred speech with rapid onset.

    Previous severe allergic reaction to same insect bite.

    Note: Anaphylaxis can occur with bee, yellow jacket, wasp, or fire ant stings but rarely with other insects.Onset usually occurs within 20 minutes.

    First aid advice for anaphylaxis:

    Give epinephrine injection if you have an anaphylactic kit.

    Inject it into the muscle of the upper outer thigh.

    Call your doctor now if:

    Your child looks or acts very sick

    Hives or swelling elsewhere on the body

    More than 20 fire ant stings in a child less than 1 year old

    Call your doctor during regular office hours if:

    You think your child needs to be seen

    Severe pain is not improved after two hours of pain medicine

    New redness or red streak occurs around the bite after the first 24 hours

    Scab that looks infected (drains pus or increases in size) not improved after applying antibiotic ointment for two days

    Call your doctor during weekday office hours if:

    You have other questions or concerns.

    Scab that looks infected (drains pus or increases in size) not improved after applying antibiotic ointment for 2 days.

    Parent care at home if:

    Normal insect bite and you don't think your child needs to be seen

    Home care advice for insect bites:

    1. Itchy insect bites (including all mosquito bites): Apply calamine lotion or a baking soda paste. If the itch is severe, use a non-prescription 1percent hydrocortisone cream. Apply four times a day until the itch is less severe, then switch to calamine lotion. Also apply firm, sharp, direct, steady pressure to the bite for 10 seconds. A fingernail, pen cap, or other object can be used. If the bite is very itchy after local treatment, try an oral antihistamine (e.g. Benadryl). Sometimes it helps, especially in allergic children.

    2. Painful insect bites: Rub the bite for 15 to 20 minutes with a cotton ball soaked in a meat tenderizer solution. This will usually relieve the pain. (Caution: don't use near the eye) If not available, use a baking soda solution on a cotton ball. If neither is available, apply an ice cube for 20 minutes. Give acetaminophen (e.g., Tylenol) or ibuprofen for pain relief. Antihistamines don't help.

    3. Antibiotic ointment: If the insect bite has a scab on it and the scab looks infected, apply an antibiotic ointment 4 times per day. Cover the scab with a Band-Aid to prevent scratching and spread. Repeat washing the sore, the antibiotic ointment and the Band-Aid four times per day until healed. Caution: For spreading infections (redness or red streaks), your child needs to be seen by a health care professional.

    4. Expected course: Most insect bites itch or hurt for one to two days. The swelling may last a week.

    Call your doctor if:

    Severe pain persists for more than two hours after pain medicine

    Infected scab doesn't clear after 48 hours of antibiotic ointment.

    Bite looks infected (redness, red streaks, increased tenderness)

    Your child becomes worse or develops any of the "Call Your Doctor" symptoms.

    Copyright © 2005. Barton D. Schmitt, MD, FAAP

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  • Anonymous
    3 years ago


    Source(s): Cure Urticaria http://givitry.info/FullUrticariaCure
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  • Amanda
    Lv 4
    4 years ago

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    Get down on your son's level, make sure he's looking you in the eye and say, "No biting" in a firm tone. Pick him up and put him in a time out for three minutes. If he won't stay, a pack and play or high chair with a strap works great. Take the baby into another room that your son cannot access and pretend to be having the most fun of your lives. Then when the time out is over, go back (without the baby) and expalin that biting is naughty and that it hurts people. He can come back and play with you if he won't bite. As soon as he bites, he goes back in for a timeout. Make him apologize to the baby, too.

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  • 1 decade ago

    A friend always put liquid meat tenderizer on her daughter's ant bites right away. it breaks down the fluid the ant injects into the bite.

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  • 1 decade ago

    my oldest landed in a red ant hill when she was 2. it was terrible looking! i just splashed cold water on her to get all the ants off of her. i asked my father in law about the bites and he said to put bleach on them to get the swelling down.

    i never ended up doing it. but he is from the south and has dealt with that more than i have, so perhaps he is on to something.

    also just watch them because red ants are part of the wasp family, so if he has allergies to wasps it may cause problems.

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  • 1 decade ago

    That is alot of bites. My grandson also tends to get into ants and we usually give him benedryl and believe it or not be cover the bites with deodorant. Not the solid as there is more alcohol in the deodorant and it stays in place when applied. He is only two and he will holler 'DEODORANT'.

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  • 1 decade ago

    With that many bites, a trip to your pediatrician wouldn't be a bad idea. It's good that you are keeping close tabs on him, but for his health (rule out any allergic reaction possibility) and your piece of mind, see a doctor.

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  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    Benedryl lotion, calamine lotion, or "after bite for kids" lotion are all good to use if they are bothering him. You could give him a little liquid benedryl or tylenol to keep down the swelling. Also a little ice (I use a bag of frozen veggies) to put on his foot.

    Source(s): daughter with lots of bite issues
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  • 1 decade ago

    Don't worry about them if he isn't allergic ( and he doesn't seem to be). In the future, if you can catch it when they first happen, rub the spot with some raw onion. I don't know why that works, but it does.

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  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    I would give him benidryl for allergies, motrin for pain and neosporin on the bites

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