While certain bugs and other small creatures present a genuine danger, it is important to teach kids the facts. Otherwise they will be overly afraid of many harmless insects. They will also be more likely to react in fear when confronted with a potentially dangerous situation, and their reaction can make things worse. For these reasons, it's wise to teach children which insects and spiders are dangerous and how to avoid the danger. |
The insect responsible for the most human deaths worldwide is the mosquito. Their bites are uncomfortable, but the real danger lies in the germs they can carry. The best course of action where mosquitoes are concerned is to empty standing water around the house and to use insect repellent. To avoid being bitten, stay inside at dawn and dusk when mosquitoes are most active.
Bees have barbed stingers. They lose their life when they sting. Bee stings are most dangerous to people who have an allergic reaction to them. They are very uncomfortable to the rest. Bees are extremely beneficial, however, because all food is made possible by pollination. Without bees, we'd all go hungry! Teach children to respect and stay away from these little workers. Never swat at a stinging insect with your hand. Be careful when playing in clover patches and around flowers. Bees are not looking to hurt anyone, and will usually only sting when threatened or defending the hive.
Wasps and hornets do not die after stinging, but can sting repeatedly. Meanest are yellow jackets and hornets. Paper wasps are less aggressive, and mud daubers are relatively harmless. All can inflict a painful sting, which is made more harmful in the event of an allergic reaction. The best course of action for children who see a wasp is to remain calm and leave the area. Children should never play near a wasp or hornet nest.
Ticks are annoying parasites and harmful in that they can carry a variety of serious illnesses, including Lyme disease. Ticks are found in woods and grasslands worldwide. They should be avoided. Have your children use insect repellents and stay out of thick brush and grass. If they get a tick, remove it as soon as possible with tweezers placed closed to the skin. Save the tick to show the physician in the event of fever, rash, or other symptoms.
Some other small creatures are dangerous, but are not technically insects. They include spiders, scorpions, and centipedes. Children should be taught to respect spiders and keep their distance from them, because even those that are not poisonous can often inflict a painful bite. Never press down on a spider with your hand unless you want to be bitten! One spider that is completely harmless, though, is the harvester, better known as a "daddy long-legs."
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