Bee / Wasp stings

If a bee or wasp stings you or a family member during your outdoor activities this summer, here’s what you should do:

  • Gently scrape off the stinger using your fingernail or a credit card.
  • Reduce pain and swelling by applying an ice pack or towel soaked in cold water.
  • Reduce itching with calamine lotion.  For adults, an oral pain reliever and antihistamine also can help.

A special note for treating children:  Before using anything besides calamine lotion, call your pediatrician, and avoid topical antihistamines and pain relievers.

Some people can have a severe allergic reaction to an insect bite or sting.  Symptoms can appear within minutes but sometimes take hours to develop.  If you see any of these signs or symptoms, get emergency medical help right away:  difficulty breathing, weakness or dizziness, nausea, cramps, swelling of the tongue or throat, unconsciousness.