December 7, 2015


A bee's stinger works like an automatic pump – the longer it stays in, the more venom it releases – so get it out as quickly as you can. Look for a little black dot in the center of a reddened area and scrape it off with a fingernail or credit card. Try not to squeeze the stinger with your fingers or tweezers, because that could release more venom
Once you've removed the stinger, wash the area with soap and water. Then apply an ice pack for 15 minutes or so to minimize swelling and relieve pain. (If you don't have an ice pack, grab a package of frozen vegetables or drop a few ice cubes in a plastic bag. Wrap whatever you're going to use in a washcloth so it doesn't touch your baby's skin directly.)
You may want to apply a paste of baking soda and water to the area, to soothe it and draw out some of the venom. (Simply dab it on, let it dry, and rinse it off.)
Luckily, the pain usually begins to go away after a few hours, although the swelling may increase for another day or two. In the meantime, continue to apply ice and ask your doctor about giving your baby the appropriate dose of infant acetaminophen to ease the discomfort.
If your baby is still really uncomfortable and he or she is 6 months old or more, the doctor may also recommend an over-the-counter children's antihistamine to help relieve any itching and swelling.
Can bee stings cause dangerous allergic reactions?
On rare occasions, a child will have a severe allergic reaction to an insect sting. This is called anaphylaxis or anaphylactic shock, and it can be deadly. If your baby is having this kind of a reaction, you may notice the following symptoms within a few minutes or hours of the sting:
-Rash over many parts of his body
-Shortness of breath
-Swollen tongue, hands, or face
If you notice any of these symptoms in your baby, call immediately for emergency medical care.
What's the best way to avoid insect stings?
Your baby can meet up with a stinging insect at a picnic or at the beach, on a hike or just playing in the yard. Unfortunately, insect repellents don't protect against bees and wasps. But there are some things you can do to minimize your baby's chances of being stung:
-Don't use perfumed soaps or toiletries on your baby, because the scent will attract bees.
-Dress your baby in light-colored, solid fabrics rather than dark, brightly colored, or flower-printed clothing, which attracts bees.
-Make sure your baby wears shoes when playing outside, because people are often stung on bare feet.
-Be especially alert when you're near blooming flowers or orchards, which attract bees.