In most cases, bee stings are just annoying and uncomfortable, and home treatment is all that is necessary to ease the pain. But if you get stung multiple times or you’re allergic to bee stings, you may have a very serious reaction that requires emergency medical treatment.
Bee Sting Symptoms
The majority of the time, symptoms from a bee sting are minor. You or your child may experience burning pains, a red welt, and some minor swelling. Some children may have a stronger reaction to a bee sting, including extreme redness and swelling that gets bigger over a couple of days.
Children, adolescents, and adults who are allergic to bee stings may have a serious reaction known as anaphylaxis. Approximately 3% of people who are stung by bees quickly develop symptoms of anaphylaxis, such as:
- Skin reactions in random parts of the body other than the area of the sting, including hives, itching and flushed or pale skin (almost always occurs with anaphylaxis)
- Swelling of the throat and tongue
- Difficulty breathing
- Nausea, vomiting or diarrhea
- A weak and rapid pulse
- Dizziness or fainting
- Loss of consciousness
- Shock may occur if the circulatory system cannot get enough blood to vital organs
For most bee stings, you can apply an ice pack or cold compress to the sting area to soothe the pain and discomfort. You can also mix up a meat tenderizer solution by mixing one part meat tenderizer and 4 parts water, then soak a cotton ball in the solution and apply to sting for 15 to 20 minutes. A baking soda paste works well or you can use topical anti-itch cream such as Calamine lotion.
Speak To A Doctor About Bee Sting Allergies
It is always encouraged to communicate with your child’s pediatrician or family physician and ask about how to prevent bee stings and possible immunotherapy if you or your child is allergic. Multiple bee stings can be a medical emergency in children, the elderly, and people who have heart problems or trouble breathing. If you or your child is allergic to bee stings, be sure to always have an EpiPen readily available and use it exactly how your doctor has directed.
*Wasp, hornet, and yellow jacket stings are similar to bee stings, both the body’s reaction and the treatments.
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