Treating summer stings

By Jodi Mohrmann - Managing Editor of special projects
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As the temperature rises, so does the risk of stings and bites from insects.  It's a concern for parents because one bite can cause serious health problems and even a life-threatening allergic reaction.

Cleveland Clinic Children's Pediatrician Dr. Emma Raizman says if you or your child is  bitten or stung the first thing you should do is look for a stinger.

"If there is stinger don't try to squeeze because that will actually squeeze more venom out. What you want to do is try to pull it out with a tweezers or if you don't have one available try to at least scratch it out with your nail," she said.

Raizman says if there is no stinger, or you get the stinger out, you should then wash the area with soap and water. If your child is in pain you can put some ice on it, too.
She says the ice will also help to stop the venom from spreading.

If the bite or sting begins to itch, Raizman says an antihistamine lotion, or even oatmeal can provide relief, maybe even a cool bath.

She says most bites and stings will only cause a small red bump on the skin. For the most part, they can be treated at home without incident, but the location of the bite, like the eyes, could change things.

"Because the eye can actually get swollen shut, so you want to make sure that there is no other injury to the eye or that they didn't get stung, actually, in the eye," Raizman explained.

She adds if the bite or sting causes a raised rash that looks like hives, call your doctor. But if they're having trouble breathing or swallowing you should call 9-1-1 immediately.

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