How To Avoid Bee Stings And Treat Them If You Get Stung
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What is the best treatment for a bee sting? How do you know if you are having an allergic reaction? - Tamara in Louisville, Kentucky
The Pediatrician Answers:
If someone is not allergic to beestings, then putting a cool compress on it and perhaps giving some antihistamine (like Benadryl) would be sufficient. The sting will swell, however, and won't reach it maximum swelling until about 24-48 hours after the sting. It will then go down.
People who are allergic to bee stings generally develop the allergy after being stung several times. They will have increasing swelling around the bite with each sting, then eventually may have a very major reaction with swelling of the airway, generalized hives and possibly even shock. Such a reaction can be very dangerous or even fatal. People with bee sting allergies should carry bee sting kits (injectible epinephrine), and know to get to an emergency room immediately if they get stung.
Bee stings can be avoided by wearing protective clothing and avoiding areas where bees are known to be nesting. People should not do things to aggravate bees (like trying to knock down bee nests, etc.). Perfume scents can be attractive to bees and should be avoided if you are spending time outside.