Posted on: 10 May 2017
Bee and wasp stings are a fact of life. If you have not been stung yet, it's probably only a matter of time before you are. And the same goes for your friends! Since some people are highly allergic to stinging insects (and the experience is painful for everyone) it's important that you know what to do if one of your companions gets stung by a bee. Start by following these tips.
Do: Immediately ask if they are allergic.
Someone who is seriously allergic to bees may experience serious symptoms within seconds of getting stung. These symptoms can include swelling of the throat, which makes it hard to talk. To be sure you get all important information from your friend, ask them immediately if they have a stinging insect allergy.
Don't: Leave your friend alone until you're sure they're safe.
If your friend tells you that they are not allergic, don't just leave them alone and go about your day. Insect allergies can arise at anytime. So, even if your friend has been stung before and did not have an allergic reaction, they could have one this time. There's also a chance they've never been stung before and don't really know if they're allergic. Stay by their side for about a half hour to ensure serious symptoms don't arise.
Do: Call emergency services if you suspect an allergy.
If your friend tells you that they are allergic, or if you notice any signs of an allergic reaction, call 911 (or the local emergency services number) immediately. The paramedics will be able to administer antihistamines to stop the reaction in its tracks, and they can also ensure your friend keeps breathing.
Signs of an allergy to watch out for include:
- Hives appearing near the sting area or on the hands and face
- Wheezing or difficulty breathing
- Scratchiness in the throat
- Extreme itching in the sting area
- Swelling in the face
Don't: Forget to comfort your friend.
Even if your friend is not allergic, insect stings are painful. There are a few things you can do to make your friend more comfortable. Help them use soap and water to rinse the sting area. Then, look closely at the area. If you see what looks like a little hair or a spike emerging from the skin, this is the stinger; use tweezers to remove it. Hold ice or a cold compress against the sting for them, and they should feel better soon.Share