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Health > First Aid >Insect stings

Insect Stings

Usually a sting for a bee, wasp, hornet are not serious and are more painful than dangerous. But with any insect bite or sting it is important to look for signs of an allergic reaction.


You need to reassure and calm the casualty down.

There will be pain and possibly some redness and swelling around the site of the sting.

If the sting is visible, brush or scrape it off. You could use the blunt edge of a knife or a credit card for instance. Please don’t use tweezers are you risk squeezing more poison into the wound.

Apply an ice pack or cold compress for at least 10 minutes, and if possible raise the effected part.

If swelling and pain persist advise the casualty to see their doctor.

Stings to the mouth and throat can be dangerous. There is a risk of the tissues in the mouth and throat swelling which could cause the airway to become blocked.

Sucking on an ice cube, or an ice cream or lolly for instance for children ,or sipping cold water will prevent any swelling.

However, if the swelling starts to develop and breathing becomes difficult then arrange for medical help immediately.

Some people suffer severe allergic reactions to insect bites and stings, if the casualty shows any sign of impaired breathing or swelling to the face, neck, tongue, mouth or lips or shows a wide spread rash then dial 999 or 112 for an ambulance.

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