Who else has noticed that bees are getting more aggressive lately? It’s not your imagination, and it's pretty common this time of year. What you should know is that we’re entering angry bee season.
Usually, during the late summer and early fall, bees get close to the end of their season and are preparing to die off. During this time, bees become more aggressive and are more likely to sting you if you’re not careful.
AFC Urgent Care New Bedford is here to help answer many questions from concerned parents about bee stings and how to treat them.
How to avoid getting stung by an angry bee
- Wear shoes when outdoors, especially in grassy areas.
- Wear clothing to cover as much of the body as possible
- Keep windows and doors screened.
- Keep garbage in sealed receptacles.
- Do not swat at a stinging insect as it increases the likelihood of an aggressive reaction.
- If stung, seek immediate medical attention as reactions can be severe.
- Call a pest professional if you find a nest on your property or suspect an infestation.
If you or your child do get stung however, it's important to understand the difference between a 'normal' reaction to a bee sting, and an allergic reaction to a bee sting.
What is a normal, non-allergic reaction to a bee sting?
With the majority of bee stings, one will only see minor reactions, such as itching, hives or rashes and soreness.If this is the extent of your reaction, your child is probably not allergic to bee stings.
What you should do immediately after getting stung by a bee
- Remove the stinger
- Apply a cold compress or ice
- Treat with tylenol or NSAID
- Apply topical ointment such as Neosporin to fight any possible infection, and possibly Caladryl, to combat itching
Don't use tweezers to squeeze it out. Using tweezers to remove a bee sting runs the risk of squeezing more venom into the wound. Try removing the stinger by scraping a fingernail over the area or using gauze to wipe it out.
Possible symptoms of an allergic reaction to bee stings, or anaphylaxis
In the U.S. only 3% of all children stung by bees experience severe allergic reactions, however sometimes a child might get stung 2 or 3 times before having an allergic reaction. Especially if there is a family history of allergic reactions to bees, parents should always be prepared for an allergic reaction if a child is stung, as a severe allergic reaction can be life threatening. A severe bee sting reaction is known as anaphylaxis. If your child is stung and experiences any of the following severe reactions there is a good possibility that they are allergic to bees.
Symptoms of an allergic reaction to bee stings, or anaphylaxis
- Throat closes
- Difficulty breathing
- Racing heart
- Face or mouth swelling
AFC Urgent Care New Bedford can treat bee stings and allergic reactions
If you know your child is allergic to bee stings, you should carry an Epipen on your person at all times. Immediately call 911 or come to our AFC urgent care center in New Bedford. We can treat you or your child right here, 7 days a week, no appointment needed.
AFC New Bedford is located at 119 Coggeshall St. and we are open 7 days a week with extended hours on the weekdays from 8 am to 8 pm and weekend hours from 8 am to 5 pm. There is no appointment needed when visiting our center.