During the summer, when picnics in the forest or simply in the yard are more frequent, there is a higher risk of insect stings. Bees and hornets belong to the large Hymenoptera insect order. The contact between children and bees and hornets is much more common than with other animals or poisonous insects.

A single bee sting doesn’t create any problems for a healthy person, regardless of age. Usually, the reaction is local and includes skin redness, swelling at the site of the sting, a strong pain, a burning and itching sensation.

But even a single bee or hornet sting on the head area, on a blood vessel or in the mouth is very dangerous. It can produce severe toxic reactions, such as dizziness, headaches, nausea and weakness. In some cases, it can lead to vomiting, fever and fainting.

On the other hand, there are some children and adults who are very sensitive to hymenoptera venom. In these cases, besides the above mentioned reactions, it can lead to rashes, watery eyes and a runny nose. In some severe cases, a bee sting may produce a swelling of the larynx, which is a complication that requires immediate medical care.

Parents should be aware that different alergic reactions to bee and hornet stings occur very frequently. We have to say that a bee sting is harder to bear than a hornet sting because the bee leaves its venom gland in the victim’s skin. Because the hornet doesn’t leave its stinger in the skin, it can sting the victim several times in a few minutes.

What do you do when your child is stung by a bee? Here are the steps you need to follow in case of bee sting:

  1. Carefully remove the stinger from the affected area in order to not squeeze the venom inside the wound. After you remove the stinger, you should destroy it to avoid the risk of someone stepping on it.

  2. Wash the sting site with water and soap.

  3. Apply, for a few minutes, a towel soaked in cold water an ice on the affected area. Be careful, don’t use soil or clay for the cooling process, as they do in some areas. Because of the bacteria and microbes it contains, using soil for the cooling process can lead to the infection of the area where the sting occurred.

  4. You can use a soothing gel for insect stings, if you have such a product or if you can find it quickly.

  5. Seek immediate medical attention or call an ambulance if your child has one of the following possible reactions:

  • has a wheeze or has difficulty breathing

  • becomes very pale

  • has swelling of the tongue, lips or face

  • has lingering dizziness

  • is vomiting

Until he gets checked by a doctor, the child has to lie down, but in an upright position. You can administer, if the doctor agrees, an anti-allergy pill.