You know how it goes. You’re having a picnic or sitting out in your backyard, and suddenly you hear the squalling agony of your child as they come running to you in panic and pain because they just got stung by a bee. However painful and frightening, you can alleviate bee sting pain quickly and effectively so everyone can go about their day.
If your child has been stung, you’ll likely see where. The skin should be mottled and red in about the size of a small dime to a large penny. If they were stung by a bee, the stinger may be embedded in the skin. If the individual has been attacked by a hornet or wasp, there may be more than one sting as these insects can sting multiple times apiece (a bee can only sting once, as their stinger is pulled out of their body once they DO sting).
Check the body thoroughly to make sure the insect is not still on the body, and to check how many stings there actually are. If the stinger is in the body (it looks like a splinter with a pus bag on it- this is the venom) remove the stinger without squeezing the venom sac to prevent the venom from further going into the victim. Do not use tweezers, as this may cause the venom sac to continue injecting into the victim, causing more danger and pain. Rather, take a credit card and lightly scrape the stinger out of the skin to avoid injecting the venom.
After removing the stinger and affirming that there are not more areas of the body that have been attacked, apply firm pressure above the injection site to slow the poison entering the body (if stung on the hand, apply pressure to the wrist by wrapping your hand around it and applying firm but not painful pressure, if stung on the foot apply pressure to the ankle, etc) and create a paste of baking soda and water to apply to the injection site. The mixture eases the pain by drawing the toxins out of the wound and decreases the severity of the sting.
Apply an icepack to the sting to decrease swelling and inflammation. Watch for signs of serious reaction, such as fever, disorientation, swelling of the face, vomiting, shortness of breath or wheezing, vomiting and fatigue. If the stung area swells it will usually swell very large right away and is a sure sign of needing immediate medical attention. Call 911 right away if any reactions occur and get emergency help as insect stings can be fatal.
To ease the itching that often occurs with a sting for days following the sting, apply a hydrocortizone cream to the area to prevent scratching and irritation and possible infection. Keep a baking soda and water paste handy and in the fridge for when the bites occur, as this paste is also effective for ant bites and mosquito bites. When traveling, have hydrocortizone cream and a first aid kit and the baking soda/water paste readily available for animal and insect bites and always watch for signs of allergic reaction.