Ouch! How to handle a bee sting
Tue, 07 Jun 2011 14:42:37 GMT —
Scream first ... then take action!
Don't get us wrong, there are many different types of stinging insects: wasps, hornets, yellow jackets ... the list goes on and on ... but for Tuesday's Facebook Story of the Day, we decided to concentrate on bees.
The two greatest risks involved with bee stings are allergic reactions and infections.
Brenda Ellingson is a Nurse Practitioner with Blessing Hospital. She says the first thing you need to do is decrease the swelling of the sting.
Do that by using a cold compress, or anything with antihistamine to make the swelling go down.
A common remedy is mixing baking soda and water to make a paste. Put that paste on the affected area and wait for the swelling to recede. That's when she says it is safe to pluck out the stinger.
Ellingson said, "You want to get the stinger out so it doesn't continue to poison the rest of your skin".
Bees tend to leave behind a stinger attached to a venom sac. First rule of thumb, don't try to pull it out with your fingers if it's still there! Make sure you gently scrape it out with a non-sharp object like a credit card or a dull knife. Some doctors suggest scraping the stinger away in a side-to-side motion with a credit card or fingernail, and then washing the area with soap and water.
But the key is not to dig and pick at it.
Ellingson said, "You don't want to dig in the skin because of all the possibilities of introducing infection into the skin."
Watch the swelling. Ellingson says if the site swells to the size of a nickel or quarter you need medical attention.
Ellingson said, "If you have that additional swelling you need to see your doctor for antibiotics to apply to the wound so your body can fight the infection.
Watch for signs of allergic reaction to stings...they typically happen within the first few hours.
If you or your child has a severe allergic reaction to a sting, such as trouble breathing or throat swelling, experts recommend carrying an epinephrine auto injector, or EpiPen.
Any time that happens or you use an EpiPen, you should immediately call 9-1-1 or go to the emergency room.
The best bee sting is the one you never get. To keep bees away, wear light-colored clothing and avoid scented soaps and perfumes. Don't leave food, drinks, and garbage outdoors uncovered.
There are many other techniques people use to ease the pain ... but what do you do for a bee sting?
We posted the question on our Facebook Page here , so join in the conversation and we may use your comments in our story!