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First Aid for Insect Bites and Stings

As COVID-19 concerns and closures continue, many families are looking to nature for entertainment this summer. Socially-distanced outdoor activities, such as hiking, kayaking, and camping, are an excellent way to stay safe and still make the most of the season. But whether you’re heading into the backcountry or spending a day at the local lake, more time outside means an increased risk for insect bites and bee stings. Mosquitoes, biting flies, ticks, bees, wasps, spiders and scorpions can all cause adverse reactions, ranging from minor annoyances to life-threatening conditions. Parents should know the signs and symptoms of allergic reactions and infection, and when it’s time to get care.

Common Symptoms of Insect Bites & Bee Stings:

  • Swelling at bite site
  • Rash
  • Itching
  • Call 911 or head to the ER if you notice:

    • Hives
    • Lightheadedness or fainting
    • Nausea or vomiting
    • Shortness of breath or wheezing
    • Chest pain
    • Difficulty swallowing or tongue swelling

    While severe allergic reactions are possible, you can usually treat your child’s insect bites and bee stings at home. Follow these general steps to prevention and treatment:

    • Use an insect repellent to deter mosquitoes, ticks, and flies.
    • Move to a safe place. If you’re stung and are near a wasp nest or bee hive, retreat to an area where you won’t get swarmed.
    • Use antiseptic soap to clean the wound. Apply an antibiotic ointment to prevent infection.
    • Use a cold compress or ice to reduce swelling, and relieve pain and itching.
    • Remove stingers or ticks as quickly as possible.

    Think a bite or sting may be more serious? Head into our urgent care.

    If your child is suffering from a mild to moderate reaction after a sting or bite, know we are here 7 days a week and you never need an appointment. Our medical team is prepared to evaluate the wound and provide the appropriate care, from infection treatment and irrigation to stinger and tick removal. If lyme disease is suspected, we can prescribe the necessary antibiotics.

    Get fast, convenient pediatric care for childhood insect bites and bee stings today.