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Pictures of Bed Bug Bites on Kids

Updated on March 27, 2017
Bedbugabscond profile image

Melody has volunteered with the CDC and is a member of the Medical Reserve Corps. She brings awareness to public health concerns.

(Scroll Down For Bed Bug Bite Pictures on Children)


Bed Bugs and Parenting

Parents around the world are giving up the old bed bug nursery rhyme. Instead, they are asking how to keep bed bugs off of children.

Not only does this page contain info about bed bug bites and children, but also many pictures of the rashes on kids.

If you would like to see bed bug bite pictures on adults see:

Bed bugs bites on children create complex issues for parents. This is an issue that is widely overlooked in the current bed bug epidemic.

Not understanding the facts about bed bugs can cause fear, and that fear creates distress in adults and children.

Pictures of Bed Bug Bites on Children

bed bug bites on children, 6-year-old boy
bed bug bites on children, 6-year-old boy | Source
Bed bug bites on children
Bed bug bites on children | Source

Children and Bed Bugs

The increasing amount of time spent at school and with friends increases the danger that they might bring home bed bugs. Since you are not always there to monitor them, you never know when or where they might pick up a rogue bed bug and bring it home.

This makes it important to know how to inspect children for bed bug bites. If you know what to look for, you can identify them as soon as possible.

How to inspect children for bed bugs:

  • Don't alarm the kids. Some children may not get a reaction for a week or more after being bitten.
  • Treat a bed bug inspection with the same care and urgency as a lice inspection.
  • Check kids when they return from a friend's house, sleepover, or return from camp.
  • Inspect before the child settles into bed or sits down on the couch.
  • When looking for bed bug bites on children, you can eyeball a child pretty easily. They do not even have to know you are looking.
  • Look for small red dots grouped in three.
  • Look along the hairline. You do not have to thoroughly inspect hair, such as with lice.
  • Start with the head neck and shoulders.
  • Placing all items in a large zip lock bag before they come in the house.
  • Get them a bed bug resistant backpack for use during sleepovers.

In today’s world, most kids (seven and up) have heard of bed bugs. They don’t really know how to recognize the bug or the bites. They don't know how to cope with their feelings in regards to these bloodsuckers.

Some parents have become so afraid of bed bugs that they are scared to let their kids go to a friend’s house or have a sleepover. This is understandable, but there are ways to give children the experiences of life while protecting your family from bed bugs.

Many people will forbid others from coming into their home when there is an infestation. In all honesty, I believe this is the best course of action. Ethically, it protects others from catching your bed bugs. Consider this change to be temporary.

Children will notice this action, and it could cause them some grief. Being aware of their feelings and educating them about bed bugs can help reduce some of the stress.

Identifying bed bug bites on kids is the first step, and you can take it from there.

Bed bug bites on 9-year old

Bed bug bite on 9 year old
Bed bug bite on 9 year old | Source

Bed Bug Bites on Toddler

Bed bug bite on toddler's face.
Bed bug bite on toddler's face. | Source

All Pictures are Verified Bed Bug Bites

All pictures on this page are verified, children with bed bug bites. This article focuses directly on kids and bed bugs. If you're curious about other bed bug aspects follow these links.

According to the New Hampshire Department of Health, only children who have a serious allergy get true welts from bed bug bites.

Bed bug bites do not have a bite mark in the center. If the bite is a welt, and/or has a bite mark in the center, it could be a spider, mosquito or even a flea bite. As with anything, there are a few exceptions to the rule.

If a child scratches a bed bug bite enough, the skin may be broken causing a sore to develop. Scratching might also cause the bed bug bite to look like a flea bite, with a mark in the center.

While bed bug bites are not dangerous, these sores can get infected. In rare cases, an allergic reaction to an insect bite, including bed bugs, may require treatment. They may recommend cortisone cream or prescribe steroid shots or antibiotics to fight infection.

Children who have serious reactions to bed bug bites could experience shock, such as with other insect bites.

Something else worthy of mention, when a bed bug bites are an area with hair, especially on a child or someone who shaves, the pore in the skin where the hair grows can look like a bite mark instead of what it really is, a pore.

Identifying a bed bug bite on children:

  • Look for rashes in groups of three, although they do not always come in groups of three.
  • Look for small circles, although sometimes the rash is a splotch.
  • Identify minor redness and swelling
  • If you discover bites on your children, use cortisone to stop the itching.

A lot of people ask, "How long does it take for a bed bug rash to develop?" You are going to see different people say different time periods.

From what I have seen, bed bug bites usually develop within 24-48 hours of the bite and fades in 24-48 hours. However, with maximum strength cortisone, it will fade quickly.

*Remember, not everyone has the same bed bug reaction.*

Bed bug bite symptoms are an allergic reaction. Some children will have no reaction; however, people are more sensitive than others.

I am not going to go in to the science, but every person's body respond differently to different allergens. Plus, a person can develop an allergy at any time.

Bed bug bites on children tend to be larger and more pronounced then they are on adults. Children are more sensitive, so they tend to have more exaggerated bed bug rashes. Some children may have a delayed reaction.

Some people swear it takes 9 or 14 days to develop a rash, and that may be true. IIt's more likely that they stayed at a hotel 9 or 14 days ago and want to blame it on the hotel, not their own home or family members. Or perhaps they brought a bug home, and bites went undetected.

Some children can have severe allergic reactions. I have seen asthmatic children have no serious reaction to bites, and healthy children end up going to the doctor for steroid cream or a shot. The reverse happens, too.

How long it takes to develop red dots depends on the person. The average time it takes to see visible rashes is within the first two days of the bite.

Bed Bug Bites on Toddlers Arm

Bed Bug Bites on Toddlers arm.
Bed Bug Bites on Toddlers arm. | Source

Treating Bed Bug Rashes on Kids

As a general rule, children with rashes should always go to the doctor. Prescription strength hydrocortisone cream will likely be recommended. This stuff works great on bed bugs. For most people, it stops itching and makes the redness fade.

If you really do not want to go to the doctor, then get some other type of cream or lotion to treat the itching. Babies who have bed bug bites should always be taken to the doctor.

Check the way you are feeling. Are you worried others will notice? If so, you are probably focused on the redness. It's important to prioritize itching over redness. You want to make sure the bites do not become open and get infected.

Prescription strength cream is the best, but my personal favorite nonprescription product for all types of skin rashes, including bed bugs is Cortisone 10 Maximum Strength Intensive Healing Formula.

To Hide or Not to Hide Bed Bug Bites on Children

If you do not have bed bugs, you probably have little reason to talk your kids them about them. However, if you do have them you, are probably feeling conflicted.

When you find bed bug bites on children you have a choice. Either talk to your children openly and honestly about bed bugs or try to keep it hidden from them. Only you will know which is right for your family. Just know that the children will see the bugs.

If you decide not to tell your kids, you can explain the marks away as spider bites. If the bites continue over time, you might get away with saying, “Oh, we better spray for spiders we must have a ton!”

If the infestation persists, there is a good chance your kids will figure it out on their own. Another con of keeping bed bug infestations hidden from kids, is that they can interfere with your bed bug plan, and not even know it.

Then there is the spraying issue. If you do not tell them about bed bugs, you should at least say you are doing a bi-annual spray.

For safety reasons, even if you do not want to talk about bed bug bites to children, it is important to alert your children to the fact that you have sprayed. Explain any boundaries they may have.

The truth is kids are very aware of what is going on around them. Between T.V, movies, the internet and friends kids learn about things like bed bugs.

If you can get the infestation under control quickly, you may never have to have the talk. If not, then you may have no other choice but to have the bed bug discussion.

Preventing Unnatural Fear Caused by Bed Bugs

One great way to head off, or eliminate bed bug fears is to create a safe zone. Give each child a zippered mattress cover and a zippered pillowcase cover.

Let them help you install them. Explain how this will protect them against bed bugs. This will help them feel safer. Teach kids not to unzip them, or remove them from the bed.

To go another step forward, you can give them a bed bug prevention tent, which is specially made to protect them through the night.

Let them help you set it up, and remind them to keep it zipped up at all times. The tent will probably be white, so you can do an art project to help them make it their own.

If the child knows they have a safe bed bug free place to go when feeling stressed, and when sleeping, they are more likely to cope well.

You can also get zippered dresser drawer liners.

These liners can actually save you money. When you have bed bugs you have to wash, wash, and wash some more.

The laundry seems never ending.

The clothing stays safely sealed inside, so you do not have to worry about additional bed bug bites on children because of the little monsters hiding in your kid's clothing.

You can help them through your bed bug issues, and help alleviate stress and fear. Provide a supportive and caring environment for kids to talk about bed bugs, treat the itching, and providing children a "safe place".

Kids and Bed Bug Poll

Have your kids ever been bitten by bed bugs at a sleepover?

See results


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    • profile image

      miranda 4 years ago

      im getting bitten by bed bugs and i keep on itching them but i put cream on it and it works a little and sometimes it don't work when i put it on sometimes

    • profile image

      Mother 4 years ago

      A mother that sharing information about bedbugs is r the right thing to do.My chid want to school on Friday and came home with bites on her.

    • Becky Katz profile image

      Becky Katz 4 years ago from Hereford, AZ

      We had three months of torment with these things. My daughter had a friend spend the night and I guess she brought them. It took a while for them to get to the point where we noticed them and then they were everywhere. We had Orkin come in and spray two months in a row, as well as getting rid of all mattresses, box springs, and upholstered furniture. We also had to dry every item of cloth in the house for 20 min. in the dryer. I sew and have lots of material. It cost me $30 in quarters to dry all of that.

    • Bedbugabscond profile image

      Melody Trent 4 years ago from United States

      Great comment, thanks for the info. Bed bugs only bite once a night, and they do not eat every night. So yes, most of these pictures are from homes with more serious infestations.

      I am glad you mentioned garage sales, I forgot that one. You used to be able to get good stuff people left by the curb, and now you have to avoid that at all costs. You are right, buying at garage sales can be just as risky! Thanks for reading!

    • Pamela Kinnaird W profile image

      Pamela Kinnaird W 4 years ago from Maui and Arizona

      This is a great hub you've written.

      There is quite a growing problem of bed bug infestation on the islands of Hawaii, so I attended a free class on it last year. Bed bugs especially like to travel by air on the airplanes in coach or First Class. They also love to travel from one hotel to your destination via your luggage which you set up in the hotel you are visiting.

      I'm not sure if you have mentioned in one of your hubs that a bed bug only bites once a day. So in the photos of the bites on the children's bodies there were a LOT of bed bugs coming out to dine at night. They are attracted to the carbon dioxide human beings expel from their mouth when sleeping. This is why a new infestation of bed bugs begins with just one or two camping out at the top of your mattress. You can see the little brown dots of feces there near the rolled seams of the mattress. Later, the bed bugs travel to different parts of the mattress and different areas of the room such as the dresser drawers.

      Buying used dressers at a garage sale? This can be a way to bring bed bugs into your home. The bed bugs hide very well in different components of the dresser drawers and frame -- even under the drawer handles.

      Voting your hub up and across.

    • Anjili profile image

      Anjili 5 years ago from planet earth, a humanoid

      Thanks for sharing this information. I once experienced these disgusting pests and learnt how to counter them the hard way. I won the battle, never to see them again. I realized recently that infection can recur through public transport, a visit to infested localities or from a visitor. I've not seen the bug for several years. Voted up and useful.

    • teaches12345 profile image

      Dianna Mendez 5 years ago

      Another great hub on the topics of bed bugs! Your pictures are always a great add on and help to show what to look for in detail. I hope that I never have to experience this pest problem.

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