Your child is finally making some friends at school and you are ecstatic about it. He starts playing together with other children and start getting invited to sleepovers. While these activities can be fun for children, it can be a quite daunting endeavor for many parents. When your child invites his friends for sleepovers or when he is invited to one, there is a potential risk of spreading bed bugs from one house to another.
Bed bugs may not seem like a threatening infestation, but they are making many people’s lives a nightmare. The number of reported bed bug cases in the country is growing at alarming rates. Not a lot of pests are very difficult to detect and eradicate as these creepy crawlies. They are hard to find, increasingly pervasive, and they can deliver nasty bites to you and your family.
Bed Bugs And Their Bites
The adult bed bugs are about a quarter of an inch long and they are less than 1/8 inch wide; however, their sizes may vary depending on their living environment. These bugs have a reddish-brown coloring, and are flat and oval in shape. The nasty thing about these bugs is that they feed on human blood.
Children are very vulnerable to these bugs because they can easily bring them home. Activities, such as sleepover, can invite unwanted bugs into your property. When these bugs are introduced to your home, they will feed on your child at night. As a result, your child might suffer from itchy red bumps. Unfortunately, there are some children who may develop allergic reactions, including:
- Large, itchy red bumps across exposed areas on their body
- Blister-like inflammations on the skin
- Groups of small, inflamed sacs of pus
- Skin rashes that looks like hives
If your child gets bitten by bedbugs, he might start scratching the bite area. Scratching will break the skin, creating a wound which will become vulnerable to infection. If your child develops allergic reactions, such as those listed above, it will require a trip to the doctor.
Bed Bugs Safety Tips For Sleepover
These creepy crawlies can spread from one home to another by simply hitchhiking on clothing, luggage, and other items. For this reason, it is best to take precautionary steps to prevent bed bug infestation from developing in your home. If your child invites his friends for a sleepover, you can consider taking the following safety steps:
- Ask the children’s parents about the steps they take at home to prevent bed bug infestation.
- When the other kids arrive at your doorstep, try taking their luggage to a tiled area, such as the bathroom, where they can safely unpack their things.
- Let your child and his friends know about bed bugs, and explain to them why these creatures are a problem. In addition, let them participate in the inspection process. Look for bedbug eggs since they can stick to shoes and at the cuffs of pants.
- As an additional precaution, you can protect the beds with an anti-bedbug encasement. You can also instruct the kids to place their clean clothing in a luggage liner.
You must also educate your child on how these bed bugs find their way into your home. For instance, remind him not to share or borrow clothes. If he comes home from a sleepover with clothes that are not his own, immediately put it in the washing machine and hot wash it. These nasty hitchhikers can’t withstand high temperatures. Additionally, you must check the things that come into your home, such as backpacks and overnight bags.
- Image courtesy of imagerymajestic/ FreeDigitalPhotos.net
- License: Creative Commons image source
Kris Lim is a mother of one who knows that children enjoys going to sleepovers and playing with other children. She understands that although these activities can invite unwanted bugs into the home, they are part of the child’s growth and development; thus, she takes precautionary steps to be safe. To help raise awareness, she offers tips and advice on how to prevent Los Angeles bed bugs from spreading into residential homes.