It is that time of year when everything is starting to get green again. The trees are getting their leaves, the grass is starting to grow and the flowers are starting to bloom. That means that everyone is starting to get outside. That also means, the bugs are back out, too. In this case, bees and wasps.
We all know to tell our kids to stay away from the bees and to leave them alone. Don’t bother them and they won’t bother you. The problem is, sometimes, even with the best of intentions, it happens. Kids step on the bees, the bees are spooked from a spot, or one lands on a kid and they freak out, swatting, resulting in a sting.
How to Treat Bee Stings
A lot of people aren’t sure how to deal with a bee sting. The most important thing to do is look for an allergic reaction. Even people who have been stung in the past can have a reaction later on. You can be allergic to one type of bee or wasp and not another.
First things first, get away from the bees. Bees and wasps send out a scent when they are trouble that calls the rest of their hive.
Then, the next thing you will want to do once you or your child has been stung by a bee is to find the spot of the sting and remove the stinger from the skin. It is extremely important to remove the stinger because the stinger contains the bee venom and it will continue to be released as long as the stinger in the skin. The more venom released means more swelling and pain. To remove the stinger, scrap it off horizontally with a clean finger or a plastic card, like a credit card. If it will not come out that way, use tweezers. Pinch the skin up so that the stinger comes above the surface of the skin and pull.
Not all stings will have a stinger left in them. Honey bees leave their stinger behind when they sting someone but wasps, yellow jackets, and hornets do not. This, also, means that once a honey bee loses it stinger in someone, it can not sting again and will eventually die. The ones that do not leave a stinger behind, can continue to sting the person.
Once the stinger is removed, apply a cold wet compress or ice to the sting. It will help reduce the soreness of the sting and will help numb the pain.
There are ways to make the sting site feel better after removing the stinger and cleaning the spot. One way is to make a paste of baking soda and water, (baking soda is awesome for everything it seems) and apply it to the sting. You can also use meat tenderizer. Just sprinkle it heavily on the sting and it is know to reduce the pain and the swelling. Honey is another great remedy for the pain. Spread it over the sting.
There are also products you can buy and keep on hand. They can be great for traveling or camping, when regular household ingredients might not be available.