BUZZ, BUZZ! We are seeing a number of kids and parents coming in with painful and sore welts from stings this time of year…aka “Angry Bee Season”. The bees and wasps don’t seem to care that it’s the new school year!
During this time, stinging bees and wasps become more aggressiver because they are preparing their queen for the winter, and are more protective near the hive. This aggravated behavior heightens as their local food resources are depleted, and they grow hungry. So, watch out, or they’ll sting you!
AFC Urgent Care Worcester has created a guide for you on some immediate steps you can take if you are allergic and get stung by a bee.
Immediate steps to take if stung by a bee or wasp
- A bee will usually leave behind a stinger attached to a venom sac. Try to remove it as quickly as possible using a scraping motion (DO NOT TWEEZE IT), without pinching the venom sac at the end. (Wasps don’t leave their stingers in the skin after stinging, which means they can sting more than once.)
- Wash the area carefully with soap and water. Do this two to three times a day until the skin is healed.
- Apply an ice pack wrapped in a cloth or a cold, wet washcloth for a few minutes.
- Give acetaminophen or ibuprofen for pain.
- For pain and itching, give an over-the-counter oral antihistamine if your child’s health care provider says it’s OK; follow dosage instructions for your child’s age and weight. You could also apply a corticosteroid cream or calamine lotion to the sting area.
- A sting anywhere in the mouth needs immediate medical attention because this can quickly cause severe swelling that may block airways.
- Get medical care if you notice a large skin rash or swelling around the sting site, or if swelling or pain lasts for more than 3 days, which could be signs of an infection.
How can I avoid bee stings?
Although it would be nice to avoid bee stings altogether, we are seeing a lot of bee stings and allergic reactions. Here’s a list of things you can try so that you can avoid getting stung by a bee.
- Keep garbage in sealed receptacles. When out at a public park or playground, steer clear of open or full garbage bins as bees are often nearby
- Avoid brightly colored and flower print clothing to help keep bees away.
- Avoid fragrances or cosmetics with floral scents.
- Call a pest professional if you notice a hive or nest on your property
- If you are outside and have sweets around, it is best to keep drinks closed and put food away. Bees LOVE sweets. You don’t want to attract a colony of bees while on a picnic.
- If you are going into a field where there will likely be bees, wear long pants and shoes that cover your whole foot.
- If a bee “bumps” into you, you might be near their hive, so the best thing to do is to run before they come out and swarm you.
These signs may indicate a serious or potentially life-threatening allergic reaction to bees or wasps
If you’ve tried the preventative suggestions, but still couldn’t avoid a bee attack or sting, you should be aware of these next steps if you are highly allergic.
Use an epinephrine auto-injector (epipen) if it’s available, and either come in to AFC Urgent Care Worcester or call 911 immediately if you notice any of these signs:
- swelling of the lips, tongue, or face
- dizziness or fainting
- nausea or vomiting
- high fever
- serious headache
- wheezing or difficulty breathing
- tightness in throat or chest
- throat begins to close up
- racing heart
AFC Urgent Care Worcester is ready for Angry Bee season
AFC Urgent Care Worcester is your number one go to urgent care in central Massachusetts. We are located at 115 Stafford St, Worcester, MA. We also accept most insurances. If you or a loved one has been stung by a bee or have more questions, AFC Urgent Care Worcster can help treat bee stings and bee allergies. We’re here for you with immediate care, 7 days a week.