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Health Information For Kids
There are many different types of fire ants, and they are found throughout the southeastern and southwestern United States. The most common and aggressive kind is the red imported fire ant, which is reddish-brown and about 1/8-inch long (about half the size of a pencil eraser).
Red imported fire ants live in colonies that first nest in the ground, and then create a mound of dirt over the nest. These mounds can grow up to 18 inches high and over 2 feet wide!
Red imported fire ants’ nests can be found on lawns, in parks, on playgrounds, in fields, and in pastures. Some red imported fire ants create nests in walls of buildings.
A person who gets stung by a fire ant will feel a sharp pain and burning. Someone who steps on a fire ant mound will get a lot of stings at once because the ants have been disturbed where they all live together. Each sting will turn into an itchy white blister over the next day.
If you ever think that you have been stung by a fire ant, tell an adult immediately. That’s because the venom (poison) in the sting can cause the area around it to swell up quite a bit, and a doctor may want to have a look to make sure you are not having an allergic reaction.
The symptoms of an allergic reaction include hives (red patches on the skin that sting and itch), nausea, dizziness, a tight feeling in the throat, or trouble breathing. Someone who has these symptoms needs to get medical attention right away.
But usually, you can follow these steps after a fire ant sting:
The doctor may suggest that your mom or dad give you a medicine called an antihistamine to control swelling and itching. If you have a more serious allergic reaction to a fire ant sting, the doctor may give you a shot that fights the reaction. People who know that they are allergic to fire ant stings also sometimes carry emergency medicine that they can give to themselves to prevent a severe reaction from happening.
The best way to avoid getting stung by fire ants is to keep your shoes on when playing in areas that could have fire ant mounds. If you come across one, don’t ever poke at it or try to play with it.
Bee, or honeybee, is the word many people use to describe any flying insect that has wings and a stinger. Learn more about bees.
Scorpions are about three inches long (about the length of a crayon), with eight legs and a small pair of claws that look like crabs’ claws. Read all about them.
There are thousands of different kinds of mosquitoes in many different sizes and colors. Learn all about mosquitoes and how they bite you in this article.
A tick attaches itself to the skin of a person or animal and sucks blood. If you have a dog, it may have picked up a tick before! Learn more about ticks in this article for kids.
Lice need to suck blood to survive, and they sometimes live on people’s heads and lay eggs in their hair. Get the lowdown on lice in this article.
A flea is a small (no bigger than the head of a pin) brown bug with a hard shell. Learn more about fleas and how they affect you in this fun article just for kids.
A gnat is a very tiny insect, no bigger than the head of a pin. Learn more about gnats.
Chiggers are a tiny red type of mite. Learn more about itchy chiggers in this article.
A bedbug is a small, flat, reddish-brown bug that can be found in homes all over the world. Learn more about bedbugs.
A tarantula is a black, hairy spider that is about two to three inches long. Learn all about spiders and tarantulas in this fun article for kids.
The brown recluse spider is one of six poisonous kinds of spiders in the United States. Learn more about the brown recluse spider.
The black widow spider is one of six poisonous kinds of spiders in the United States. Learn more about them!
Learn about rashes in a flash. Check out our article just for kids!
During an allergic reaction, your body’s immune system goes into overdrive. Find out more in this article for kids.
Note: All information is for educational purposes only. For specific medical advice, diagnoses, and treatment, consult your doctor.
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