Ouch! Treating wasps or bee bites

Insect stings instantly cause a skin reaction most of the time, causing painful red swelling on the affected area. A wasp or bee stings hurt because their venom is injected into the skin. Although the pain is uncomfortable, most of the time it can be treated at home with the exception of an unexpected allergic reaction. Find out how to treat and prevent these painful stings.

Allergic reaction:

First and foremost, it is very important to know that for some children insect bites can cause allergic reaction. Contact your doctor or emergency number immediately if:

• Your little one cannot breathe or swallow (call emergency number).

• If he or she is covered, or starts to get covered with red bumps.

• Has 10 or more bites.

• The bee or wasp stung him or her inside his or her mouth.

• If you think your baby needs to be checked out.

At-home Treatment:

• First, check to see if there’s a black dot in the wound; if there is, it’s the bee’s stinger. To remove it, simply pull it out with your fingers or tweezers. Just try to be careful not to burst the venom sac at the end of the sting, because more venom can be released. If after taking the sting out you still see some fragments within the skin, don’t worry, they’ll come out alone.

• The next step is to thoroughly clean the affected area with soap and water.

• Then, apply a paste of baking soda and water on the sting for 20 minutes.

• If the pain persists, apply a cold compress over the affected area for 10 minutes.

• Finally, if your doctor has told you that your child can take ibuprofen, give your little one a dose of this medication to reduce pain and inflammation.

Prevention:

• Teach your child to detect bees and wasps’ nests and let him or her know he or she should not approach them.

• Dress your little one in protective clothing in areas where you know there are wasps and bees.

• Make sure that your child wears shoes when playing outside.

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