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Your pediatric practice on watching out for bees and wasps

Your pediatric practice reminds you that this is the time to start worrying about stinging insects in the Gastonia, NC area. Bees and wasps can ruin a child’s day even under normal circumstances, but the real danger is that of anaphylactic shock. And the insect repellents that you use against mosquitoes and ticks don’t work on bees and wasps, so everyone has to be alert.

Honeybees

Over 95 percent of all stings come from honeybees or yellowjackets. When a honeybee stings, it leaves its stinger behind, condemning itself to death in the process, but this is not much comfort to a child who’s just been stung. Honeybees are attracted to flowers and occasionally water.

Various types of wasp

Yellowjackets and hornets are both types of wasp. This means a single insect can sting more than once, since they don’t leave their stingers behind. Wasps are attracted to all sorts of things — any kind of fruit or anything liquid with sugar in it, which they eat themselves, but also small pieces of meat or fish, which they use to feed their young.

Stinging and its treatment

If a sting is on the mouth or in the eye, if there is a large number of stings, or if your child shows signs of an upset stomach, you should get him or her to an ER, or at least call your pediatric practice. Most often, however, you’ll just need to relieve the symptoms. There are home remedies you can put on a bee sting, including meat tenderizer, baking soda, vinegar and, appropriately enough, honey. (Some people have gotten good results with toothpaste and salt, but nobody knows why this would work.)

Most of the pain from a bee or wasp sting isn’t caused by the stinger itself, but by the allergic reaction for the sting. This usually takes the form of pain, redness and swelling. The pain lasts for one or two hours, and may be followed by itching.

The worst danger, of course, is anaphylactic shock. This often begins with hives and trouble breathing or swallowing. There may also be confusion or slurred speech. This is when you should call 911. If your child is highly allergic to bee stings, you should have an injection ready when outside.

A pediatric practice in Gastonia, NC

Gastonia Pediatric Associates is a pediatric practice conveniently located west of Charlotte. It is one of the first medical practices for children in the Gastonia area, has served three generations of families with personalized care and offers medical advice for parents 24 hours a day. Its staff includes three physicians and three nursing staff. Gastonia Pediatrics is owned and directed by its own physicians. If you need a pediatric specialist, call today.