Expert advice on treating insect stings


Afternoons outside with the kids are a wonderful way to spend time, until the fun is interrupted by a bee sting.

To help alleviate the panic a sting from a bee, wasp or hornet can cause, here is some advice from the American Academy of Dermatology:

  • Stay calm. Wasps and hornets can sting more than once, so if stung, calmly walk away.
  • Remove the stinger. The longer it stays in, the more venom that is released, adding pain and swelling. Don't use tweezers or try to squeeze it out, instead, remove it by scraping over it with your fingernail or a piece of gauze.
  • Clean the wound. Wash the sting with soap and water.
  • Apply a cold pack to reduce swelling. If swelling moves to other parts of the body, like your face or neck, go to the emergency room immediately. It could be an allergic reaction. Other signs of an allergic reaction are difficulty breathing, nausea, hives and dizziness.