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First Aid for Insect Bites and Stings

Gönderen Stuff zaman: 02:18
Insect bites and stings are common occurrences that many people simply brush off. After all, most of them are not serious and only cause an annoying stinging or itching sensation, as well as a mild swelling that disappears within a day or two. Delayed reactions may include hives, fever, swollen glands or painful joints. Both the delayed and immediate reactions may come about from the same insect sting or bite.
However, venom from some insects can trigger an allergic reaction, along with other symptoms that come from having the venom injected into the skin. The level of severity of these reactions depends on the person’s sensitivity to the venom or the substance, or if he has been bitten or stung previously. Actually, a small percentage of people develop severe reactions, known as anaphylaxis to the venom from insects. These severe reactions include symptoms like nausea, difficulty breathing, facial swelling, abdominal pain, and shock.
Typically, the most troublesome insect stings come from bees, hornets, fire ants, wasps, and yellow jackets. Reactions may also come from mosquito bites, spider bites, as well as bites from ticks and biting flies, although these are typically milder in severity. On a very rare count, some insects may also carry diseases like Lyme disease or the West Nile virus.
Insect bites may not seem too serious, particularly if the victim is an adult who can remain calm and collected. However, what do you do if your child gets stung or bitten? The following steps are the basic first aid for treating insect stings and bites:
1. Remove the child from the area to a place far away from where he got bitten in order to prevent more stings. Get rid of any insects stuck to his clothing or body. Removing the child may not do much help if insects like ants are stuck all over his clothing; in such case, remove all clothing as soon as possible and sweep away any insects on his body.
2. For stinging insects, check the child’s skin and remove the stinger. This helps prevent the possible release of more venom. Wash the affected area with soap and water.
3. Use an ice pack applied on the area to reduce the swelling and pain.
4. Apply some hydrocortisone cream or calamine lotion onto the affected areas. Alternatively, you can make a baking soda paste from 3 teaspoons of baking soda mixed with 1 teaspoon water. Apply this to the affected area a few times a day as you wait for the symptoms to fade.
5. Take an antihistamine that contains chlorpheniramine maleate or diphenhydramine.
Allergic reactions to insect bites include intestinal cramps, mild nausea, diarrhea, or skin swelling that is larger than 2 inches in diameter. If any of these signs and symptoms occur, be sure to visit your doctor as soon as possible.
Meanwhile, severe reactions require immediate medical assistance. If the victim develops difficulty breathing, dizziness, rapid heartbeat, swelling of the throat and lips, hives, or shows confusion or even faints, it will be best to call 911. While waiting for the ambulance, take the following steps:
1. Check for possible medications that the child takes for an allergy attack, and administer the drug based on directions. You may have him take an antihistamine drug. Avoid giving him anything to drink.
2. Keep the person lying still on his back, elevating his feet.
3. If the child has tight clothing on, loosen it and cover him with a blanket.
4. If there is vomiting or any bleeding from his mouth, turn him onto his side to prevent choking.
5. In the absence of signs of circulation, begin CPR.
Insect bites may typically be a little thing, but you should be aware of these signs so you will know if emergency medical action is necessary. Knowing the basics of first aid will definitely go a long way in making sure you protect your child from the effects of a serious insect sting, especially if your child happens to be allergic to certain insects. Overall, be quick to check the symptoms and act accordingly, to ensure the safety and good health of your child.

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