Bites and stings

Tick bites  

 

In Finland, ticks are found in the Åland Islands, the archipelago, and in southern and central Finland. Ticks live in tall grass and shrubbery, and can be infected with Borrelia bacteria which cause Lyme disease in humans.

Treatment

When you find a tick on your child's skin, remove it without delay by rotating the tick slowly with a set of tick tweezers. The sooner the tick is removed from the skin, the smaller the risk of becoming infected with Borrelia. Do not use grease as it may cause the tick to regurgitate its stomach contents into the wound, increasing the risk of infection. After the tick has been completely removed no further measures are required.

Follow-up

Monitor the affected area for several weeks. Seek medical assistance if within a couple of weeks your child develops flu-like symptoms (fever, headache, muscle and joint pains) and a red circular rash develops around the affected area. A Borrelia infection is treated with antibiotics.

Check your child for ticks every night. Examine the skin and scalp for ticks or tick marks. Shake the clothes to remove any ticks hiding in the folds. Choose lightly coloured clothing to make the ticks more visible. For more information, please visit: www.punkki.net (only in Finnish).

Animal and human bites

 

Carefully clean and disinfect wounds resulting from animal or human bites, because saliva contains bacteria. Compared to dog bites, cat and human bites are more likely to become infected. Therefore, if a cat or human bite has penetrated the skin, seek medical assistance. Your physician will prescribe antibiotics, if necessary. If the child has been vaccinated at school or a child health clinic according to the national vaccination programme, a tetanus booster shot is not necessary.

Treatment

Lacerated, deep and facial wounds should be examined by a physician. The wound is cleaned and closed if necessary. Small and superficial wounds are usually left open to avoid the risk of infection. Clean the wound every morning and every evening under running water for 5 to 10 minutes. Then cover the wound with fresh gauze pads. Do not use plasters to avoid the wound festering under the tightly sealed plaster.

Follow-up

Monitor the wound at home. If the drainage becomes purulent, the skin around the affected area is red and flushed, your child develops fever or the wound is painful, seek medical assistance. The wound is most likely infected and antibiotics are required.

Snake bites

 

A bite from a common European viper (Vipera berus) can be dangerous. If a common European viper bites a child or a bite is suspected, seek medical assistance immediately. Two puncture sites set apart by approximately one centimetre is a sign of a viper bite. Keep the puncture area immobile.  

Bee and wasp stings

 

A bee or wasp sting causes pain and swelling in the skin around the affected area. Urticaria may form on the skin. In addition to local symptoms, some people may also experience general symptoms such as swelling of the mucous membranes.

First aid

  • Remove the poisonous stinger, if it is visible.
  • Place a cold pack over the affected area.
  • Give the patient hydrocortisone tablets ("KYYPAKKAUS") according to the package leaflet.
  • A topically applied cortisone cream will alleviate itching and reduce swelling.
  • If you have antihistamines at home (Zyrtec, Kestine, Clarityn, etc.), give your child one tablet.

Seek medical assistance without delay if the bee or wasp stung your child on the face, swelling is not limited to the affected area, your child has difficulty breathing or faints after the sting.