My Child Is Allergic To Bees: What Should I Do?

September 8, 2022

Angry bee season is here and this little bee is angry and in a stinging mood

Here at AFC Urgent Care West Hartford we have seen a dramatic upswing of kids walking through our doors with painful sores and welts from stings. Why? because bees, especially wasps, hornets, and yellow jackets are coming to an end of their life cycle and are fighting for survival. During this period, they become increasingly aggressive and in a stinging mood that can potentially threaten you and your family while you enjoy the last leg of summer. 

But, fear not. We created a guide on how to keep your children safe, what to do if your child is allergic to bee stings and what you should do if they get stung by a bee.

Is Your Child Allergic To Bee Stings?

How does one know if their child is allergic to bee stings? 

  • It’s important to know that allergies are often hereditary. So, if you have an allergy to bees, then most likely your child will, too.
  • You can visit an allergist to determine if there is an allergy to bee stings. It can be a serious allergy or something that your child might outgrow when they grow older. They will be able to provide you the necessary tools if they do get stung by a bee in the future.

The important thing is taking immediate steps if they do happen to get stung by a bee and you know that they’re allergic. Future stings could result in reactions that are up to 60 percent worse than the first allergic reaction. Also, often a child can get stung 2 or 3 times before having an allergic reaction, so it's important to be vigilant if there is family history of bee allergies.

What are the symptoms of an allergic reaction to a bee sting?

If your child reacts with the following symptoms they are most likely suffering an allergic reaction to bees. A severe allergic reaction can cause the following, oft called anaphylactic  reactions:

  • throat starts to close up
  • severe hives and or itching
  • high fever
  • headache
  • difficulty breathing
  • racing heart
  • face or mouth swelling
  • feeling faint

Treating a non-allergic bee or wasp sting

For normal, non-allergic reactions you want to remove the stinger. Avoid using tweezers to squeeze them out. This can increase the risk of spreading more venom. If you can try to use your fingernail to scrape out the stinger or use a gauze to wipe the stinger out.

After that initial step apply a cold compress or ice to reduce swelling. You can apply a dab of Neosporin to prevent possible infection and also apply calamine lotion to prevent itching. For pain you can take an aspirin or acetaminophen.

It would be nice to just avoid a bee sting altogether. Although not always preventable,  there are a few things you can do to help prevent being stung by a bee or wasp.

How to prevent being stung by a bee

  • Avoid brightly colored and flower print clothing to help keep bees away.
  • Avoid fragrances or cosmetics with floral scents.
  • Always be careful with food and sweet drinks such as soda. Bees will often fly into the can and sting the drinker when he or she takes a sip.
  • If you are going into a field where there will likely be bees, wear long pants and shoes that cover your whole foot.
  • Keep garbage in sealed receptacles. When out at a public park or playground, steer clear of open or full garbage bins
  • If there are bees around or on you, don't run and don't swat at them. Standing still will keep the bees calm and, most likely, they will fly away without causing harm.
  • Call a pest professional if you notice a hive or nest on your property.

What to do if my child just got stung by a bee or wasp and is allergic

Here's what to do if you already know that your child will develop a severe allergic reaction when stung by a bee or wasp:

  1. Your child, or you, should always carry a bee sting kit that includes a bronchodilator epinephrine shot (Epipen) or inhaler, which will dilate the airways and allow your child to breathe.
  2. Call 911 or bring them into our center as soon as possible. They will need to be treated immediately.

At AFC Urgent Care West Hartford you can walk right in, no appointment necessary, to our walk-in clinic located at 1030 Boulevard, West Hartford, CT 06119-1801. We accept most insurances and all our locations are open 7 days a week 8am-8pm M-F, 8am-5pm weekends.  

You can now make an appointment online!

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