Bees, being the active pollinators they are, do not appreciate it when their work is disrupted. Your child may unknowingly try to grab on to a bee that might be suckling nectar from a flower, and as a result, be stung.
Bees are not aggressive unless they sense a threat. This may result in your child being stung by one or many bees.
Usually, a bee sting is not fatal enough for you to take your child to the doctor. However, if they develop an allergy to the bee sting, they must be taken to the doctor.
This article will provide a detailed guide on what symptoms can help identify a bee sting reaction on your child. We will also demonstrate how you can ensure that the venom from the bee sting does not spread.
Symptoms that prove that your kid has been stung by a bee
For a typical bee sting, the following are the symptoms that will show in your kid:
- The first and loudest indicator of a bee sting would be your child’s cries to the bee sting’s pain and them trying to itch the area where they have been stung to soothe it. This is a reflexive reaction to the instant pain that is caused after the bee sting.
- Redness and swelling around the area where the bee has stung them. This is an instant reaction to the stinger that is lodged into the skin by the bees when they sting. After the bee stings, it activates pain receptors in the human’s body, suggesting that the person has been hurt. After your kid has been stung by a bee, you will notice visible swelling and redness around the area after ten minutes.
- Another common symptom that you might notice is a white mark on the place where they have been stung. This means that the stinger is still lodged inside their skin, and you should calmly remove it using a credit card.
What if it is Anaphylaxis?
Anaphylaxis is a life-threatening condition where your kid will show severe symptoms, and if it is not tended to in time, it might lead to death. This condition will emerge in case your child is allergic to bee stings.
Here are some of the signs that will suggest that your kid is suffering from anaphylaxis:
- Projectile Vomiting.
- Falling unconscious.
- Increased heartbeat.
If you come across these symptoms, it is time for you to act quick. Begin by taking out the stinger that is lodged onto their skin. However, this does not necessarily mean that the allergic reaction will subside. If your kid has begun having an allergic reaction, the venom has already started spreading.
To avoid the venom to spread further, it is wise that you consult the doctor immediately.
What to do right after a bee sting?
Some bee stings are deadlier than others, but the first aid to follow right after is the same in all cases. Note that this will not cure the allergy that your kid might experience, but it will stop the venom from spreading further down. Either way, you have to take your kid to the doctor in case of an allergy.
Step 1: Remove the stinger
This step is vital for you to follow before you can continue to the next one. Removing the stinger is an easy job. All you have to do is pull it out with your fingers by pinching it between your thumb and index finger and pulling it out in one swift motion. After a bee stings, the stinger sticks out of the skin, so it must be immediately pulled out to avoid the venom from spreading further.
Another way to take the stinger out is to use an object with a hard and flat surface, like a credit card, to push it out.
Yet, if you are not confident enough to do it yourself and feel that you might mess it up, contact your child’s paediatrician and let them guide you.
Step 2: Wash the affected area
This is a common step that is to be followed after every scrape or cut, so bee stings are not an exception.
Wash the area with water and soap gently to wash the germs and remaining bits of the stinger away. Do not rub the area, or it may cause irritation on the skin.
Step 3: Use an ice-pack
Ice is used to calm an irritated and swollen area, and in this case, the bee sting will cause your child’s skin to be irritated and swollen. Use an ice-pack or a cold washcloth to wipe around the area to visibly reduce swelling and redness.
This will also reduce the irritation and itchiness that follows the bee sting.
Step 4: Instant medication
If your kid is above 6 months old, it is safe to give them a dose of acetaminophen or ibuprofen to reduce the pain. Note that if your kid is below 6 months, it is not safe for them to ingest acetaminophen or ibuprofen.
Step 5: Over-the-counter anti-irritant
If your kid is itchy and is continuously trying to scratch the area where the bee has stung them, ask your doctor if you can give them some over-the-counter antihistamine; that will considerably reduce the irritation.
Histamine is a poisonous chemical lodged into your child’s skin once the bee stings and causes great harm to their cell membranes. An antihistamine will work against this, so it is crucial to immediately give it to your child after consulting the doctor.
Step 6: Take them to the doctor
If your kid continues to show symptoms, take them to the doctor ASAP!
1. What do I do if my kid has eaten a bee?
Kids tend to eat everything they see or grab in their tiny palms. While playing in the garden, they could have caught a bee and swallowed it, and the bee could have stung your kid inside their mouth.
This is the worst-case scenario, for which you need to immediately rush to the hospital. You MUST NOT delay because the poisonous venom might block your kid’s airways.
2. What are the first symptoms of an allergic reaction from bee stings?
An allergic reaction to bee stings in your kids requires immediate medical attention. Suppose your child is developing hives around the sting area, continuously vomiting and fainting. If this is the case, it is imperative that you first remove the stinger and then rush your kid to the doctor.
Kids are young and playful and do not know how dangerous bees are, let alone understand how damaging their sting can be on their delicate skin.
YOU, as a parent or guardian, must be attentive about their whereabouts and not let them wander about alone in bee-prone areas like your garden or backyard.
Featured image courtesy https://www.planetbee.org