As we turn from late summer into early fall we see bee’s getting more aggressive. This is not your imagination. As bees, especially yellow jackets, get close to the end of their season and are preparing to die off, they get angry, and are more likely to display aggressive behavior than throughout the first few months of their life span.
At AFC Urgent Care in Danbury we get many inquiries from concerned parents about bee stings, about how to tell if their child is allergic, and what to do about it if they are afraid their child is allergic to bees and happens to get stung.
First let’s learn how to avoid getting stung by a bee
The National Pest Management Association ( NPMA) offers the following tips for avoiding stinging insects:
- Wear shoes when outdoors, especially in grassy areas.
- Keep windows and doors screened.
- Keep garbage in sealed receptacles.
- Do not swat at a stinging insect as it increases the likelihood of an aggressive reaction.
- If stung, seek immediate medical attention as reactions can be severe.
- Call a pest professional if you find a nest on your property or suspect an infestation.
If you or your child does get stung however, it’s important to understand the differencebetween a ‘normal’ reaction to a bee sting, and an allergic reaction to a bee sting.
What is a normal, non-allergic reaction to a bee sting?
With the majority of bee stings, one will only see minor reactions, such as itching, hives or rashes and soreness.
How to Treat a bee sting, when one is NOT allergic:
*remove the stinger
*apply a cold compress or ice
*treat with tylenol or NSAID
*apply topical ointment such as Neosporin to fight any possible infection, and possibly
*Caladryl, to combat itching
In the U.S. only 3% of all children stung by bees experience severe allergic reactions, however sometimes a child might be stung 2 or 3 times before having an allergic reaction. Especially if there is a family history of allergic reactions to bees, parents should always be prepared for an allergic reaction if a child is stung, as a severe allergic reaction can be life threatening. A severe bee sting reaction is known as anaphylaxis. If your child is stung and experiences any of the following sever reactions there is a good possibility that they are allergic to bees:
Symptoms of a possible allergic reaction to bee stings, or anaphylaxis:
*face or mouth swelling
What to do if your child experiences an allergic reaction to bees:
Immediately use an Epipen and call 911, or they should be brought in to whatever Danbury urgent care center is closest to you. We can treat right here, 7 days a week, no appointment needed.