K.K. asks from Sudbury, MA on July 30, 2009
My daughter (15 mos) had several bites on her arms/legs/forehead this weekend while we were in Maine. I first noticed what looked like a small mosquito bite on her thigh, but the next morning it was about the size of a nickel and very hard. She also had three other similar "bites", and the areas around them were swollen. A fourth on her temple near her eye was different in that it was not hard, but rather soft and more swollen. My son (2.5 yrs), myself and husband had no bites. The local pharmacist (who thought they could be spider bites) and our pediatrician told us to watch them, if they didn't get worse, it was ok. And it was. The swelling went down and the hardness eventually went away. She never had a fever, or streaking from any of the bites, or other symptoms of spider bites (nausea, hard abdomen, etc...) I didn't see/find any spiders, mosquitos or other bugs (sand fleas at the beach, bed bugs in the cottage...). I would like to find out what she is reacting to, has anyone had a similar experience, know what kind of bug(s) it could be?
ps - is there a search function in Mamasource, aside from scrolling through previous message lists?
A.V. answers from Boston on August 02, 2009
My daughter (15 months old as well) is also very sensitive to bug bites. She got one on her thigh and it swelled up so that her pediatrician put her on antibiotics. The doctor told me that some children are just much more affected than others by insect bites and stings. She also said that sometimes a child will scratch a bite, thereby introducing dirt and then it becomes infected that way. I'm glad your daughter is better now. This summer seems particularly buggy!
R.M. answers from Boston on July 31, 2009
Maine is most famous for Black Flies and this is the season for them. Sounds like those "hard, nickle size" might be Black Fly bites. The others sound like mosquito bites. Kids skin reacts to almost any irritation and unless you can close the house or cottage against ANY and ALL bugs, your daughter will get bitten.
You can order an old remedy for itching and swelling from bug bites at the drug store. Ask for Spirit of Camphor.
M.E. answers from Boston on July 31, 2009
Unfortuntely, with any type of bug bite that's how toddlers skin reacts to them. My 18m daugther is outside all the time so she gets a plenty of bug bites and they are always the way you discribed, hard and the size of a nickel. They never bother her so I don't worry about it.
D.B. answers from Boston on July 31, 2009
Except for the bite on her forehead, this sounds like black fly bites. We get them here in central Mass earlier in the spring - the small flies are called May Flies. They are bigger in NH and Maine though, and their season is longer I think. I get bites from May Flies that are exactly like what you describe - hard, red - the center part is often raised up sort of like a mesa in the West! My bites can get to be 4-5 inches across, and they itch like crazy. They can also be very hot to the touch. You can try ice and some spray-on anti-itch stuff (like hydrocortisone). Rubbing a cream on it just irritates it and worsens the itch.
Spider bites can vary in size. They often occur in a series and follow a line - they get in tight spots like under the elastic in a waistband, or under a bra, and they bite in that line. I'm not saying that's the only pattern, and different spiders might do different things. I don't know that nausea and hard abdomen are all that common, and there are thousands of species of spiders so I'm sure there is a lot of variation. I'm just speaking from my own experience as an oft-bitten person!
You didn't see bugs, but they're there!!