Last week we featured our first “Healthy Quick Tips” post sponsored by Mercy Kids and highlighted the importance of sunscreen usage. We also shared a few tips to keep in mind when applying sunscreen and how to select the most beneficial sunscreen. We learned a few things and hope you did too! Click here to read Healthy Quick Tips: Sunscreen 101.
This week, let’s change gears and discuss what to do when your child is stung. It is scary for both your child and momma, but there are things you can do it make it less scary!
A big thank you to Dr. Laura E. Waters, Mercy Clinic Pediatric Physician for taking the time to help us out!
My child has just been stung by a wasp. What is the first thing I should do? Do I need to react differently if it is a bee sting?
First, only honeybees leave stingers- they look like little black round dots in the center of the sting. If there is a stinger present, use a credit card or a finger nail to scrape the stinger away. Trying to grab it with fingers or tweezers often pushes it beneath the skin. If the stinger goes below the skin surface- leave it alone! Don’t try to cut it out; it will come out with normal shedding of the skin.
Second, apply meat tenderizer paste or baking soda paste (to make paste: just add water!) for 20 minutes one time to neutralize the venom and reduce the pain or swelling. Then you can apply cold compresses or rub an ice cube on the site for 20 minutes to help with the pain and swelling.
You can continue to use cool compresses for 20 minutes every couple of hours to help. It’s also okay to give your child over-the-counter medicines like Tylenol or ibuprofen to help with the pain.
Are there symptoms I should look for in case my child is severely allergic? How soon after the sting would those symptoms appear?
It’s important to note the timing of symptoms after a sting. Most pain/burning will last one-two hours. NORMAL swelling can INCREASE for up to 48 hours after the sting. Redness can last up to three days and swelling up to seven days. If after 48 hours your child isn’t showing some signs of gradual improvement or things are continuing to worsen you should see your doctor. You should also seek care if the sting is starting to look infected.
If my child does show signs of a severe reaction, what do I do?
Usually more severe symptoms occur about two hours after the sting. The most worrisome symptoms are those where your child may actually have an allergy to the sting. These symptoms can include trouble breathing or swallowing and if these occur you should call 911. Trying to take your child to the emergency room yourself could delay your child receiving life saving treatment.
Dr. Waters is part of the Mercy Clinic Pediatrics–HealthTracks team located at 4331 S. Fremont Ave. in Springfield. To schedule an appointment, call the clinic at 417.820.5000 or click here to visit their website.
SouthwestMissouriMoms.com does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. This content is for informational purposes only and isn’t a substitute for professional medical advice. Always talk to your doctor if you have questions about a medical condition. Don’t delay getting professional medical advice because of something you read online. This website doesn’t necessarily recommend or endorse any specific tests, doctors, products, procedures or opinions discussed on the site.