Bee stings are common during the summer months. But there are some things that should be considered if you or someone you love gets stung.
The sting of a bee can cause medical problems. Many bees live in colonies, so if one stings you it is possible that many others will also. While it is true that most stings only cause a minor irritation with few or no real medical problems, some stings can lead to serious medical issues or even to death.
The Stinger Can Hurt
In some cases, the stinger may be left in the skin. The stinger should be carefully removed as quickly as possible.
For most people, a redness and pain around the sting area is normal. Some swelling and itching may also be noticed. A simple treatment with ice can be helpful. Apply ice for a few minutes every hour. Be sure to place cloth between the skin and the ice.
Some people are allergic to bee stings. In most cases, symptoms of an allergic reaction will occur within an hour of the sting, but it can take up to four hours to see signs of an allergic reaction. Severe allergic reactions can result in serious medical problems or even in death. This can happen even with a single sting.
Allergic reactions can include the development of hives, wheezing, shortness of breath, swelling of the mouth or throat, chest pain, weakness, anxiety, and nausea and vomiting. If any of these symptoms develop emergency medical care should be sought immediately.
Children at Increased Risk
Most people agree that bee stings are somewhat painful, but for kids, the sting can present the risk of complications. Any sting can result in medical concerns and the problem may not be noticed for hours or even until the next day. It is possible for a bacterial skin infection to develop at the site of the sting and a sting in the mouth or throat can lead to swelling which can result in difficulty to breathe.
The bottom line is, always put safety first. Outdoor fun comes with some risks. Wear protective clothing and insect repellant when bees are near!
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