Ouch! Easing the Sting of Bee Stings

by Melanie

Owww! Sooner or later your child will probably get stung by a bee or wasp. Even simple mosquito bites can cause discomfort. There are a couple of things to do to help ease the pain and itch associated with bug bites. If there is a history of allergies to insect bites seek emergency medical treatment immediately.

When stung by a bee or wasp first check if there is a stinger in the skin. If there is a stinger try to push or scrape it out. Tweezers should be the last resort because when you grip the stinger and squeeze, you can release more venom. The insect’s venom is what causes the itching and pain. Once the stinger is removed rinse area with cool water and then apply a cold compress. This will help to minimize swelling. Bee stings will probably hurt and itch.

If your child is allergic seek medical advice and treatment immediately. If this is the first time your child is stung watch for allergic reactions. Allergic reactions may include swelling of face, difficulty breathing, wheezing, vomiting and hives. If any of these occur seek emergency treatment immediately.

If your child is not allergic but is in a lot of discomfort due to itching or pain at sting site, consult your pediatrician about giving an antihistamine such as children’s Benadryl or applying ointment to reduce itching. A cold compress will also make the sting feel better.

During the summer months reduce the likelihood of getting stung.  Avoid using perfumes and heavily scented soaps and shampoo. Teach your children to be calm should a bee buzz by. I know that’s easier said than done but they really should try and remain calm, and walk away. Screaming and slapping at a bee will only make them more likely to sting. Also don’t have uneaten fruit and ice cream  or cups of juice or soda sitting outside, bees will be attracted to the sugar. Use child friendly bug repellents to minimize mosquito bites.

One last thing. as hard as it may be for them, encourage your child  not to scratch bug bites. Besides increasing the likelihood of infection, scratching a bug bite only makes it itch more. A cold compress will help take the itch away as well as topical treatments like ointments. Consult your child’s doctor if he or she seems to be in a lot of discomfort or if there is any sign of infection.

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