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How to treat a wasp or bee sting in a baby

baby boy showing a bee sting

Key Points:
1. Insect stings cause instant skin reactions with red swelling. Wasp/bee stings inject venom, usually treatable at home except for severe allergic reactions.
2. Allergic reactions can be serious. Seek help if breathing/swallowing issues, red bumps, multiple bites, oral stings, or concern. Remove stinger, cleanse, apply baking soda paste, cold compress, consider ibuprofen.

Most of the time, insect stings instantly cause a skin reaction, causing painful red swelling on the affected area. A wasp or bee sting hurts 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 might have an allergic reaction to insect bites. Contact your doctor or emergency number immediately if:

  • Your little one cannot breathe or swallow (call emergency number).
  • If he is covered, or starts to get covered with red bumps.
  • Has 10 or more bites.
  • The bee or wasp stung him inside the mouth.
  • If you think your son needs to be checked out.

At-home treatment

  • First, check 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 using a pair of tweezers. Try 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 clean the affected area thoroughly 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.


  • Teach your child to detect bees and wasps’ nests and let him know he 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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