We discover most of our allergies in childhood. Children are exposed to so many new sights, sounds, smells and tastes that allergies can show up at any time. Some allergies can lead to dangerous reactions. Bee stings may fall into this category.
Unfortunately, the only way to know if you are allergic to something is to be exposed to it. When it comes to bees, this means getting stung. Don’t go out looking for bees. In the summer, you will find them whether you want to or not.
The best advice for bees is avoiding their habitat as much as you can. If you have bees that build their nests in holes in the ground, contact the city for help with getting rid of them.
When Your Child Is Stung
We can’t protect our kids from everything. While your child is playing outside they may accidently come in contact with a bee. Bees don’t usually sting unless they feel threatened. Your child could be swatting at them playfully, sit on one or lean against one.
The first sign that your child has been stung will be the deafening cry you’ll hear. Bee stings are painful even for adults. If your child can talk, they may be able to tell you that it was a bee. If not, then you will have to examine the area that they are coddling – the source of their pain.
Most bees sting only once. Some do have the ability to sting more than once, but usually the stinger will be break off and be lodged in the skin. This will create a red, warm area on the skin at the site of the sting.
There is nothing abnormal about this reaction. The body will begin to release histamines to combat the invading venom from the bee’s stinger.
The most important thing to do first is remove the stinger from the skin. Use salt or a credit card to scrape the red area and remove the stinger. Squeezing with your fingers will only release more venom into the body. You may be able to see the stinger with the naked eye right after the sting. Still scrape to remove it.
Apply a cool compress to the area after washing it with soap. Children’s Tylenol can help with the pain. Closely monitor your child for any further signs that the sting is affecting them systemically. If anaphylaxis is present it will happen very quickly. This is a more severe reaction to the bee venom that is deadly.
Signs to watch out for include:
* Swelling of the tongue or throat
* Spreading redness
* Hives on areas of the skin that were not affected by the sting
At this point contact medical personnel immediately. Your child will need an injection of epinephrine to alleviate the swelling that is blocking the airway. Be sure to tell the emergency personnel that your child has been stung by a bee.
Bee stings can turn deadly if your child shows signs of an anaphylactic reaction. Know the signs and call 911 right away.