First Aid Tips: Bee StingsDo you know what to do if you or a family member suffers a bee sting? With reactions that can vary from minor redness and swelling to major allergic reactions, a little knowledge can go a long way…

Bee sting 101:

• Reactions to bee stings may be immediate (less than 4 hours) or delayed (up to a week after the sting).

• Swelling may be local, affect the entire limb, or present systemic symptoms due to allergies (see emergency symptoms below). Large local reactions do not indicate future allergies.

• Severe, toxic reactions usually follow multiple stings.

First aid tips for stings:

Remove the stinger carefully. Remove the stinger using a pair of tweezers, or scrape the stinger out with your nail. Never squeeze the stinger, as this will release more venom. Be aware there may not be a stinger, as the honeybee is the only bee to leave it behind.

Soothe the area. Applying ice to the affected area not only provides pain relief, but prevents the spread of venom. A baking soda paste can also provide soothing relief.

Treat itch. Oatmeal paste and topical antihistamines offer effective itch relief.

Breakdown venom. Meat tenderizer contains an enzyme capable of breaking down meat protein, which is effective in breaking down the proteins in bee venom.

Call 9-1-1 if a family member or child experiences:

• Trouble breathing.

• Swollen tongue or difficulty swallowing.

• Hives or a raised rash.

• Feelings of faintness or dizziness.

• A history of severe allergic reaction to bug bites and stings.

Looking for a child care center with the 4-1-1 for emergency situations? Horizon Education Centers offers convenient locations in Cleveland, Elyria, Lorain, North Olmstead, and North Ridgeville.

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