Fleas are a common spring and summer problem for many people, especially those with pets. And unfortunately, fleas don’t only target your dogs and cats; they can live indoors and bite you and your children. Fortunately, fleas are not known to carry diseases, and while there is a small chance of a flea bite becoming infected, they are more of a nuisance than anything else.

The best strategy with fleas is prevention. Animals, including cats and dogs, should be treated with flea prevention medicine and/or shampoos and powders, according to your veterinarian’s recommendations. There are a number of effective flea-control strategies on the market, and if your animals don’t have fleas, it’s very unlikely your house will have fleas.

If your child is bitten by a flea, it can be hard to recognize at first. Flea bites usually occur around the ankles or feet (or anywhere that’s near the ground). They are easily mistaken for other types of insect bites or rash. Flea bites appear as small red dots that may scab over when scratched but do not form blisters. If you press them, the skin around them will usually look white.

The most common symptom of flea bites is itching. You can usually control the itching by applying cool compresses and hydrocortisone cream to the bites. Discourage your child from scratching because this can introduce bacteria to the site and lead to infection, which will need medical treatment.

Fleas can also cause allergic reactions in sensitive individuals, transmit tapeworm, and even transmit bubonic plague in very rare cases. To safeguard the health of your child as well as your pets, it is important to control any flea problem you may have in your home. Your veterinarian should be able to help you with treatment strategies.


  • Fleas on pets can also bite your children.
  • Flea bites may be mistaken for chicken pox, but a flea bite will turn white when pressed and won’t blister like chicken pox.
  • Flea bites can become infected if scratched, so treat them with hydrocortisone cream to calm the itching.
  • Fleas can rarely transmit tapeworm and other infections to children.

Last reviewed by Eva Benmeleh, PhD. Review Date: September 2020


  1. Medline Plus. Fleas.


  1. My child has bites all over his body head to toe we just moved into an apartment and were unaware of the previous owners having fleas. So no my child has bites everywhere he really doesn’t itch them if I see his itching them I stop him. It’s like each day he wakes up, there’s more then he went to bed but what’s weird is my husband and I are not getting bit. The bites on my 1 yr old look like chicken pox. But I know there not cause they gradually increase by number each day I’m just concerned, can he get sick should I take him in, what do I do? I also have a 10 month old, and he has a few bites now. I need help.

    1. Because children are generally closer to the ground than adults, they are often the first target of fleas. Fleas often live on an animal and when the animal moves, they are left behind to bite something else. You need to have the apartment examined and treated for fleas if necessary. Cover the child’s lower body with long light layers as well as the baby to prevent more bites until you figure this out.

  2. My granddaughter has flea bites all over her legs and feet. They get little like tips on them and I want to know what type of sickness she can get from these bites.

    1. Thankfully, flea bites rarely make us sick. But they can put little ones at risk for skin infections caused by scratching itchy bites! As Dr. Rivers mentions, avoiding them in the first place is ideal but once there, you can use and over-the-counter hydrocortisone cream twice a day to help with itching. If they become inflamed, tender, have a yellow crust or you are just concerned, seek out her pediatrician to have them checked.

  3. Good share.I suggested my neighbors to give to their pet as he was having some symptom of flea’s infection. I know these fleas and ticks can be dangerous for kid’s health and the best strategy to control them is early prevention. Pets should be given effective flea-control solutions and get the veterinarian’s opinion timely.


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