What’s the Best Way to Treat Your Child’s Bee Sting?

The best way to treat a bee sting is to avoid bees in the first place, so stay away from hives or other areas that you know shelter bees. Brightly colored clothing, perfumes, sugary foods and sugary beverages also attract bees, so avoid these lures when you’re outside.

If your child is stung, the key is to stay calm. Kids are usually frightened and defensive, so it’s essential for you as the parent to take control before you can help.

If the stinger is visible, remove it to get rid of the source of the pain-inducing venom. Most people instinctively use tweezers or try to squeeze the stinger out, but flicking it off with a credit card works best to avoid squeezing more poison into the wound.

Once the stinger is removed, wash the area with soap and water. Apply an ice pack to help reduce swelling and numb the pain; a topical antihistamine cream can also alleviate any other unpleasant symptoms.

Some children are severely allergic to bee stings, and unfortunately you usually don’t discover this until the first time they’re stung. If your child complains of pain outside the sting region, if she has difficulty breathing, or if you notice a rash covering her body, she may be experiencing anaphylaxis, which can be a life-threatening allergic reaction. Call 911 immediately.

About the Author

Sandi Delack is a registered nurse who works at Ferri Middle School in Johnston, R.I. She’s also the health services coordinator for Johnston Public Schools and president of the National Association of School Nurses.


One Response to “What’s the Best Way to Treat Your Child’s Bee Sting?”

  1. Krissy says:

    It’s especially more difficult with younger children. Some young children get really frightened by the experience. I find that if they continue to want to an ointment on the sting a day or two after the initial sting and there is no longer a visible reaction on the skin, then I just apply a baby skin cream until the child stops asking. But if it looks irritated I stick to ointments made specifically for bee stings or bites and keep a close eye on it.

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