Insect Bites

What should I do if my child gets bitten by a bee or insect?
Most bee or insect stings are not serious and result in only in minor pain and swelling around the bite.  Occasionally a systematic reaction (reaction to the sting elsewhere in the body) can occur and these can be serious.  Signs and symptoms of a serious systematic reaction include the following: hives, chest tightness or wheezing, muffled voice, hoarseness in the throat, pale or clammy skin, fainting or passing out.  If any of these symptoms are observed, call your physician and ambulance immediately and go directly to your closest Emergency Room.  If any of these signs or symptoms have occurred in the past, skin testing by a pediatric allergist with desensitization shots advised.  An insect sting kit should include a preloaded Epinephrine syringe that is capable of going through clothing (such as EpiPen JR.), a tourniquet, and antihistamine syrup or tablets.  Your physician will instruct you on how to use the insect sting kit.
What should I do immediately after a bee or insect sting?
First pull the stinger, insect or possibly tick from the bite site, by gentle firm straight out traction, using tweezers.  Fingernail will suffice if tweezers are not available.  Next, clean the area with soap and water.  Apply cold compresses followed by baking soda paste or calamine lotion.  If your child is scratching the bite, an antihistamine can be prescribed by your doctor.  If the bite becomes infected (redness, swelling or pus at the sting site), call your child’s physician immediately.  If bitten by a tick, call your child’s physician especially if living in an area known to have Lyme Disease.
How can I prevent bee stings?
Some helpful hints to prevent bee stings are as follows:
·         Avoid orchards, flowers, blooming trees and shrubs.
·         Do not wear brightly colored decorative clothing on your child that could attract bee or insects.  Wear long sleeved shirt and trousers on your child in area that you think may have insects and bees.  Be sure to pull socks up over your child’s trousers leg to prevent any insects or bees from getting up the pant leg.  Always wear shoes on your child and do not let him or her go barefoot.
·         Avoid scented sprays, colognes, perfumes.
·         Screen all windows and doors.
·         Avoid picnic area and garage and trash can areas that attract insects and bees