First Aid For Bee Stings

Getting stung by a bee can be a painful and scary experience especially for a child. Most adults have been stung a few times in their lives if they have spent any significant time outdoors. Most bee stings aren't life threatening in any way, unless you are one of the few people who are actually allergic to the bee's venom. Carrying an Epipen is probably a fact of life for those people who are acutely allergic, where if they get stung by one of those little guys they are going to go into anaphylactic shock, and have trouble breathing or experience even worse symptoms that require a trip to the emergency room stat. For everyone else there are a few easy first aid measures you can take to lessen the burn of a minor bee sting.

Granted this is just advice for one bee sting. If you get stung by multiple bees from a swarm of them around their home base of a large hive, then you might need to get medical attention from a professional doctor. If you get stung directly in your eye then you might also need some additional treatment from a doctor. Or if you experience any vomiting, excessive swelling, trouble breathing, or a drop in blood pressure then you should immediately head to the emergency room of your local hospital.

For a typical bee sting, here is what you should do. First remove any remaining stingers the bee might have left in the surface of your skin. The bee, when he stings, usually leaves the stinger behind, and then buzzes away to die. So if you can grab a pair of latex gloves to do it, that's better so you don't spread the venom around to other parts of your body. Then you want to apply an ice pack for 20 minutes, once every hour until the swelling goes down. Next wash of the area with a mild soap, and rinse it off with plenty of tepid water. Grab a couple of pain relievers such as ibuprofen or acetaminophen to help with any lingering pain. Ibuprofen can also help act as an anti-inflammatory if you have any localized swelling around the bee sting to make it go down. If you feel itchy at all you can also take an antihistamine such as Benedryl to help with that side effect. Most stings won't be painful for very long, and your reaction can usually be taken care of with the proper first aid at home.

Here's a tip for next time when you are outside during the summer months when bees can usually be a problem. Wear insect repellent clothing, or insect repellent spray to ward off the bees. Preventing an attack in the first place is usually the best way to go. Also if you see a hive in the area, and this is more advice that small children who don't know any better need to follow. Stay away from it! Don't investigate, poke at it, or harass it in any way. Bees sting to protect their territory, so staying far away from where they make their homes is probably the best idea during those bee infested summer time months.

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