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Tags: stings

Ouch! It's a bee sting!

Permalink by Tikal, Categories: Health, Days out , Tags: bees, outdoors, stings, summer, wasps

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At this time of year, its lovely to be outside in the warm weather but there are also some unwelcome bugs and insects that are beginning to show up too. Children are often afraid of wasps or bees as they buzz around and its hard for them to enjoy themselves sometimes for fear of being stung.

Try to explain that:

  • on the whole, not many people are stung by bees and wasps when you think how many people are outside over the summer months.
  • they should try to stay calm and still if one comes buzzing around
  • wipe up after eating chocolate or ice lollies as the sugary smell will attract wasps
  • don't wear perfumed sun cream
  • always wear shoes outside even on the grass as bees and wasps do settle on the ground
  • use non-perfumed shampoo and soap as the sweet smell is attractive
  • use unfragranced baby wipes to wipe up spills/faces rather than the fragranced sort

If your child is stung:

  • try to stay calm.  Stings are painful but are rarely dangerous.  Deal with the shock first so give plenty of support and comfort.
  • elevate the stung area to reduce swelling and apply an ice pack or cold compress.   A wet tissue soaked in water is good as the children can hold this to the sting themselves.
  • if symptoms persist go to the doctor.
  • if it was a bee sting, try to find it and remove it.  Scrape the sting away side ways so no more poison is injected.  Wasps don't leave a sting behind.  The advice is not to use tweezers as if not done expertly, it can mean the sting goes further in and can be even more painful.
  • if the sting is somewhere dangerous (mouth or throat) act quickly and get the child to the hospital as swelling could block their airway.  Sucking on an ice cub or drinking ice cold water can help in the short term.

Ouch! It bit me!

Permalink by Tikal, Categories: Health, Family , Tags: anaphylactic shock, bites, disease, insects, poison, stings

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Insect stings and bites can be very painful indeed and are not confined to the balmy days of summer.  Bee and wasp stings are particularly dangerous and can cause an allergic reaction to occur.  20% of those stung by a wasp suffer an allergic reaction.

Babies and young children may not be able to report a bite or sting so be aware - they may just suddenly become agitated whilst playing outside.  Learn to look out for the signs and act immediately if you suspect a sting or a bite.

Fleas, mosquitoes, ticks, sandflies, horseflies, gnats, ants and some spiders may bite.  A bite will often appear as a red bump or a few clustered together that are itchy, or as a white circle surrounded by slightly reddened skin.  Besides local irritation, severe reaction is unlikely from bites.  Bites become infected because of scratching.  Bites do not contain poison but there are several diseases that are spread by insects biting, including malaria, yellow fever, lyme disease, encephalitus and typhus.

Wasps, bees, hornets and some ants sting.  A sting usually takes the form of one or more swollen red bumps.  In the centre you can often see a small hole through which the sting penetrated.  Stings are accompanied by poisonous venom and it is this that causes the pain.  People can suffer extreme allergic reactions to the sting, inducing anaphylactic shock.  If you see signs of a severe reaction then consult the emergency services immediately - even a single sting can be fatal to someone suffering an allergy.

If you get stung or bitten, here's what to do:

  1. Remove the sting if there is one (use tweezers and don't press the sting further in)
  2. Wash the bite with soap and water and cool the skin with an ice pack
  3. Use an antihistamine to calm the itch

If the following symptoms occur, consult a doctor or emergency services:

  • ...if the person is stung lots of times
  • ...if a rash or swelling occurs and gets worse
  • ...if the sting is tender or swollen
  • ...if there is a headache, dizziness or nausea
  • ...if there are pains in the chest, choking or wheezing
  • ...if the patient goes into shock call for an ambulance

How to avoid being stung:

  • Try not to flap insects away as this can excite them and make them more aggressive
  • Use insect repellents
  • Keep clear of flowers or things that attract insects
  • Don't eat sweet things outside near where insects congegate
  • Wear long sleeved clothing
  • Keep windows and doors closed to keep insects outside
  • Have any nexts you find in your garden or home, professionally removed
  • Clean your home thoroughly to avoid bed bug infestations


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Hi! I'm Tikal the Toucan, the mascot for ToucanLearn. Follow my blog to find out interesting things relating to babies, toddlers and preschool children!

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