Treatment will depend on your child’s symptoms, age, and general health. It will also depend on how severe the condition is.
Reactions are usually not serious. But they can be life threatening if the sting occurs in the mouth, nose, or throat area. This is because swelling can close off the airway.
Treatment for local reactions includes:
- Calm your child and let him or her know that you can help.
- Remove the stinger, if still present, by gently scraping across the site with a blunt-edged object, such as a credit card or dull knife. Do not try to pull it out.
- Wash the area with soap and water.
- Put a cold cloth or ice pack wrapped in a cloth on the area to help reduce swelling and pain. Do this for 10 minutes on and 10 minutes off for 30 to 60 minutes. You can make your own ice pack by putting ice cubes in a plastic bag and wrapping the bag in a thin towel.
- If the sting occurs on an arm or leg, raise the limb to help reduce swelling.
To help reduce the itching, consider the following:
- Put a paste of one of the following on the area. Use baking soda and water, plain meat tenderizer and water, or a wet tea bag. Leave this on for 15 to 20 minutes.
- Use an over-the-counter medicine made to use on insect stings.
- Put an antihistamine, corticosteroid cream, or calamine lotion on the area.
- Give your child acetaminophen for pain.
- Give an over-the-counter antihistamine, if approved by your child's healthcare provider. Be sure to follow dosage instructions carefully for your child.
- Watch your child closely for the next hour for signs of a serious allergic reaction.
Call 911 and seek emergency care right away if your child is stung in the mouth, nose, or throat area, or if your child has signs of a serious allergic reaction.
Emergency medical treatment may include:
- Medicines such as epinephrine, antihistamines, or corticosteroids
- Help with breathing