Bug Bites: Your Complete Treatment Guide
Bee, Hornet, Yellow Jacket, or Wasp Stings
To prevent stings, avoid dressing your children in flowery prints, which attract bees. Also steer clear of sweet-smelling soaps and lotions. Whenever your family eats outside, cover open foods, especially sodas—bees love the sweet liquids. If a bee or other stinging insect flies by, tell your children to hold completely still. Swatting at a bee will only make it mad enough to sting.
If your child is stung:
- Remove the stinger as soon as possible. Either pull it out with a pair of tweezers or scrape it with a hard-edged object, such as a credit card. Then wash the affected area and clean it with a disinfectant.
- Apply a mixture of meat tenderizer and water, or a paste made of baking soda and water, to neutralize the venom.
- Apply ice or a cold, wet washcloth on the sting to reduce swelling.
- Cover the area with calamine lotion or hydrocortisone cream (.5 percent or 1 percent) to ease itching and swelling. A dose of acetaminophen can also reduce your child’s discomfort.
- Watch for an allergic reaction (especially if this is your child’s first bee sting). If she is having difficulty breathing, breaks out in hives, or if her tongue or lips begin to swell, call 911 immediately.
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