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Children's allergy to insect bites


Children's allergy to insect bites They are due to allergic reactions to the venom of Hymenopterans, including wasps and bees, occur after a second sting and can have fatal consequences for the health of children.

The problem is the lack of knowledge on the part of the child and his family, since after a first bite the child may be sensitized to the poison and only suffer a local swelling of the area where it has occurred.

In the event that the child is allergic and has developed the allergy, the second time you are bitten by one of these insects, you may have a systemic or anaphylactic reaction within a few minutes, with symptoms of suffocation, generalized itching throughout the body, tachycardia, low blood pressure, dizziness and danger of death.

Several studies show that “between 20 and 32 percent of children with a history of wasp or bee sting and positive skin tests for the venom will develop anaphylaxis from a subsequent sting.

The risk of presenting a allergic reaction to insect stings, such as wasps or bees, increases during the summer months and children are the most prone to suffer them, according to the Spanish Society of Clinical Immunology and Pediatric Allergy (SEICAP). And is that during the summer children spend more time outdoors and go barefoot on the lawn, where wasps nest. Therefore, the increased activity of certain insects such as wasps, bees, flies or mosquitoes is added, with the least care that children show in the presence of these insects around them.

Although they are not as frequent as wasp or bee stings, children can also develop allergies to the bites of other insects such as cockroaches, mosquitoes, ants or fleas. Reactions to mosquito bites are often annoying and in some cases spectacular, but they are not life threatening. The use of insecticides, repellants for the skin when outside and, in case of a sting, the application of a corticosteroid and antihistamine cream for itching can prevent or relieve the stings.

The first time: If a child without a history of allergy suffers an insect bite and begins to suffer severe symptoms, beyond local swelling, they should immediately go to the nearest emergency department, which will refer them to the Pediatric Allergy Service. Meanwhile, it is advisable to cool the area to prevent the poison from being absorbed quickly. A tourniquet can also be used, if the bite has occurred on an arm or leg.

The second time: The treatment for patients who have already been diagnosed with an allergy to wasp or bee venom is based on vaccines and is very effective as it manages to abort allergic reactions. Specific immunotherapy through vaccines with Hymenoptera venoms lasts at least five years and its effectiveness is proven by the controlled bite of the insect.

However, in the event of an anaphylactic reaction, it is advisable to always carry an injection of adrelane with you. Pediatric allergists teach these children and their parents to inject adrenaline through an autoinjector that they should always carry with them in case of a reaction.

Recommendations to avoid suffering the symptoms of an insect bite of this type, pediatric allergists recommend:

1. Exercise extreme caution when outdoors.
2. Avoid as much as possible to make meals in the field because insects come to it.
3. Do not wear bright colors or prints. Wear long sleeves and long pants.

Marisol New

Source consulted:
Spanish Society of Clinical Immunology and Pediatric Allergy (SEICAP)

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