Have you noticed that bees are getting more aggressive lately? It’s not your imagination, and it's pretty common this time of year. This just means that we’re entering angry bee season.
Around this time of the year, late summer and early fall, bees get close to the end of their life cycle and are preparing to die off. During this time, bees become very aggressive and their is a higher chance of getting stung if you’re not careful.
AFC Urgent Care New Bedford is here to provide you with answers to many questions--from concerned parents about bee stings and how to treat them.
How to prevent getting stung by an angry bee
The National Pest Management Association (NPMA) offers the following tips for avoiding stinging insects during this time of year:
- Wear closed-toe shoes when outdoors, especially in grassy areas.
- Wear clothing to cover as much of the body as possible
- Keep windows and doors screened or closed.
- 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.
- Contact a pest professional if you find a nest on your property or suspect an infestation.
If you or your child do get stung, it's important to understand the differences between a 'normal' reaction and an allergic reaction to a bee sting.
Non-allergic reaction to a bee sting
Common, minor reactions are itching, hives or rashes and soreness. If this is the extent of your reaction, your child is probably not allergic to bee stings.
Immediate steps to take after getting stung by a bee
- Remove the stinger
- Apply a cold compress or ice pack
- Give with tylenol or NSAID
- Apply topical ointment such as Neosporin to prevent any possible infection, and possibly Caladryl, to alleviate itchy area
Avoid using tweezers to squeeze it out. Using tweezers to remove a bee sting heightens the risk of squeezing more venom into the wound. Remove the stinger by scraping a fingernail over the area or using gauze to wipe it out.
Possible symptoms of an allergic reaction, or anaphylaxis due to bee stings
In the U.S., only 3% of all children stung by bees experience severe allergic reactions. However, sometimes it might take getting stung 2 or 3 times before developing an allergic reaction. 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 reactions, there is a great chance that they are allergic to bees.
Symptoms of an allergic reaction to bee stings, or anaphylaxis
- Throat closes
- Difficulty breathing
- Racing heart
- Mouth and face swelling
AFC Urgent Care New Bedford is here to help treat bee stings and allergic reactions
If your child is allergic to bee stings, you should carry an Epipen on your person at all times. Call 911 immediately or come to our AFC urgent care center in New Bedford. We can treat you or your child, 7 days a week, no appointment needed.
AFC New Bedford is 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. You can walk-in or schedule an appointment with us to be seen for bee stings and treatment.