Bugs, Bites, Stings & Rashes

From the Show: Healthy Children
Summary: Send the kids outside to play. Avoid and treat issues from pests, allergies and heat with these tips.
Air Date: 7/25/17
Duration: 14:23
Host: Melanie Cole, MS
Guest Bio: Andrew Bernstein, MD
Dr. Andrew BernsteinDr. Andrew Bernstein received his BA from Oberlin College, is a graduate of the University of Wisconsin – Madison Medical School, and completed post-graduate training at Children's Memorial Hospital in Chicago, now the Lurie Children's Hospital of Chicago.

Board Certified in Pediatrics, he is an Assistant Professor of Clinical Pediatrics at Northwestern University Medical School, a Fellow of the American Academy of Pediatrics, and an attending physician at Ann and Robert H. Lurie Children's Hospital of Chicago, Evanston Hospital, and Northwest Community Hospital.

He is also a Spokesperson for the American Academy of Pediatrics. "Dr. Andy" is a partner at North Suburban Pediatrics in Evanston & Buffalo Grove, IL, where he enjoys working to prevent and treat serious illness while adding joy and laughter to children’s lives. He truly values working with families and being a part of their lives as their children grow.
Bugs, Bites, Stings & Rashes
How do you deal with summer skin issues from pests, heat and irritants?

Bug Bites & Stings

The most common bug bites come from mosquitoes. Mosquitoes are out at the beginning and end of the day. They can swell but can’t prompt the allergic reaction that bee stings can cause. Treat with a cold compress, oral antihistamine or hydrocortisone ointment.

Bee stings can be a bit more dangerous, particularly with those who are allergic. Wasp and bee stings are painful and local swelling is likely. A cool compress, oral antihistamine and topical hydrocortisone should ease the pain. An anaphylactic reaction won’t occur until the second sting or later. If the reaction to additional stings is worse, speak with your pediatrician right away.

Tick bites are also dangerous. Ticks are on the rise in 2017 due to a warmer winter. They usually need 24 hours of attachment to transmit any disease. Use a credit card to scrape along the skin to remove the head and jaw. Save the tick in a bag. You may need that carcass for diagnosis. Don’t be afraid to call your pediatrician with questions.

Pest Prevention

Ticks love wooded and grassy areas. Wear long pants and tuck them into the socks so ticks don’t have access up the legs. Use a DEET-containing bug spray. It’s better to avoid the pests than deal with bites.

Don’t apply DEET to anyone under six months old. Avoid hands and face; getting it into the mouth can cause health issues. Only apply once per day. Use a “deep woods” version if you’ll be immersed in nature. Wash it off before bedtime.

Do a full body check after outdoor adventures. Check tender areas and hair for bites and ticks.


It’s easy to get exposed to poison ivy, oak and sumac when playing in the woods. Shower immediately with soap to prevent the oils from spreading. Wash under the fingernails as well. An oral antihistamine and topical steroid are recommended. Avoid a topical antihistamine. If necessary, contact your pediatrician for an oral steroid.

A rash can develop from anything applied to the skin. Perfumed lotion or sunscreen may be the culprit. You may need to use sunscreen for sensitive skin. Lightweight cotton clothing and hydration can reduce risk of heat rash.

Listen as Dr. Andrew Bernstein joins Melanie Cole, MS, to share tips for what might make your child itchy this summer.
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