The bites and stings of most insects are minor annoyances to most children. Usually, the only common complication is impetigo, a highly contagious skin infection which tends to occur at a point where the skin is already broken -for instance, where a child has scratched the site of an insect bite.
Among diseases transmitted by insect bites are: viral encephalitis (mosquitoes); and typhus (red mites, lice, and rat fleas).
Some people are allergic to the venom contained in the stings of bees, wasps, and hornets and can suffer a severe reaction if stung. This reaction can take the form of generalized hives, asthma, or circulatory collapse (insufficient blood pressure to maintain circulation of the blood), and can even lead to death.
Some children become allergic to the bites of mosquitoes, stable flies, fleas, and lice, but an allergic reaction to the bite of one of these is usually less severe than that caused by stinging insects.
Flying insects usually bite only exposed areas of the skin. Crawling insects bite anywhere, and often in groups. Flea bites tend to be concentrated on the ankles and lower legs. Bedbugs often leave three to five bites two to four centimeters apart and arranged in a fairly straight line. Honeybees leave the stinger in the wound; bumblebees and other stinging insects do not. Ticks remain attached to the skin for long periods while they suck blood and, when engorged with blood, resemble small plump raisins.