Cincinnati Family Magazine

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May 19, 2024

Summer’s Scrapes and Mishaps

Ah, yes … Summer’s great and everything … and then there are the little bites and such that can get kids down … momentarily!

bee stings

health_little-girl.pngBee stings are usually minor, but painful events. If visible, remove the stinger with tweezers and apply moist baking soda. A rub of vinegar on the spot is cooling. Go to the nearest emergency room immediately if symptoms such as difficulty breathing, nausea and vomiting, convulsions or dizziness occur. Tell your kids: Don’t swat at bees. It makes them mad and causes them to defend themselves by stinging. Leave bees alone and they’ll usually leave you alone. Never approach a bee hive of any kind that has live insects near it.

brown recluse spider bites

Abundant in the mid-South, the brown recluse lives in dark corners, under stones, in tree bark and basement nooks. Pale brown in color, they are known for the violin-shaped mark on their backs and have long, slender legs. The bite of the spider may sting sharply or go unnoticed.

Many bites create a red blister within one to four hours, and a white halo may surround the area, followed by a wider red ring. The effects of the wound can be severe. Notify your doctor immediately if you suspect a bite. Tell your kids: Check shoes before stepping into them, don’t put hands into dark areas you cannot see, and to tell you if they have a bite mark.

motion sickness

Some kids can develop motions sickness from movement in a car, airplane, boat or an amusement ride that lasts for several hours even after the motion stops. Symptoms include sleepiness, pallor, headache, sweating, drooling and vomiting. Prevent motion sickness by placing the child in a seat allowing an outside view and ventilating your car well. Tell your kids: Focus your attention on something outside the car.

poison ivy, oak or sumac

Reaction to brushing against these plants consist of redness, small bumps and intense itching. Manage mild cases with over-the-counter and home remedies such as cool compresses and calamine lotion. Medical attention is necessary if large blisters develop over large areas, if the rash is near the eyes, or if the child is severely allergic. Tell your kids: Stay out of woodsy areas and teach them how to recognize “leaves of three, let them be.”


To remove a splinter, wash the area with soap and water, then soak it in hot water for 10 minutes. If you can’t cover the area with water, use a hot compress. If one end is sticking out, gently pull out the splinter with a good pair of tweezers.

If there is no part of the splinter in sight, rub a sewing needle with rubbing alcohol and gently prick the area open with the tip of the needle so the splinter can be grasped. Clean the wound with antiseptic and a bandage. If the splinter is made of glass or metal, contact your doctor for removal. Tell your kids: Do not go barefoot on worn, wooden decks; don’t pick up old pieces of wood, glass or metal.


Children exposed to more than 30 minutes of direct sun on a hot day should wear sunscreen. Regular use of a sunscreen can reduce a person’s lifetime risk of developing the two most common types of skin cancer by 78 percent. Children should wear sunscreen with an SPF of 30, according to the American Cancer Society. Tell your kids: Insist on sunscreen!

tick bites

More than half of the cases of Rocky Mountain spotted fever (RMSF) occur in the Southeast. SMSF is an infectious disease transmitted by ticks who feed on rodents and other small mammals infected by the microorganism rickettisia rickettsii. The main feature of RMSF is a spotted rash; with early treatment most children will recover fully. Untreated, the disease can be severe. A child can pick up an infected tick from a pet or by playing in a wooded area. Initial symptoms mimic the flu, occurring about one week after the tick bite.

One to five days later, a rash appears – pale pink around the wrists, ankles, hands and feet, which quickly spreads over the body. Call your doctor if you suspect infection. Check your children’s scalps and bodies periodically for ticks. If found, removed with tweezers, taking care to remove the entire tick’s head. Tell your kids: To tell you immediately if they have had a tick on their body or suspect that they do.

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