Summertime is upon us and the birds are singing, flowers are blooming and bees are stinging. No one likes a bee sting but they can be especially concerning to little ones because of the fear factor and for parents because of the unknown factor.
I won’t lie; I scream like a 3-year-old every time a bee gets near me and it’s because it really hurts to get stung. I’m not particularly fond of pain. We may not be able to avoid every single bee sting in life but at the very least, we should know how to make the feel better and as nontraumatic as possible.
In general, there are a few precautions to take when caring for a bee sting on a child or an adult.
Symptoms of a bee sting: Immediately following the sting, a red welt will appear on the skin accompanied by an intense burning sensation. If you can, remove the stinger immediately. The longer it remains in the skin, the more intense that burning sensation will become.
I have seen a bee sting quickly escalate to DEFCON 1 status at my house when my then toddler was stung. I freaked out because I had no idea whether or not she was allergic and she freaked out because she couldn’t figure out where the radiating pain came from as she played in the garden. Poor baby. We both cried.
Treatment: First and foremost, stay calm, especially if your child was the one who has been stung. You freaking out will quickly become contagious, making the entire matter worse. Gently remove the stinger by scraping the surface of the affected skin with the edge of a flat surface like a credit card or bookmark. Then wash the skin with soap and water.
To help stop the pain, use ice; ten minutes on and ten minutes off, for up to an hour. Take Advil to reduce inflammation. If hives develop, an antihistamine should be administered. If the sting victim experiences extreme pain, a doctor can treat the sting with an anesthetic.
When to call a doctor: Some people have a serious allergic reaction, anaphylaxis, to bee stings. Signs of anaphylaxis include, sudden swelling of the breathing passage and/or tongue causing difficulty breathing and nausea. If this happens, 911 must be called at once.
How do you prevent your child from being stung by bees?
Photo Source: Eurapart