Just about everyone has had a bee sting or two. I have had plenty and with a yard full of clover we are very cautious about wearing shoes out side. I guess today was a the day to get a honey bee sting while wearing my Crocs . It was a total surprise and very painful while balancing a 50 pound bag of sand on my shoulder. So here is a reminder of what works and what doesn’t when some one in the family is needing some TLC from a bee sting.
The first thing to know is if any of your friends or family is allergic to bee stings. If there is any chance of an allergy call 911. This simple step could save a life. Beyond a life threatening allergy there are a few things that can be used to calm a very painful and usually puffy bee sting.
As soon as I realized that I was stung I put down that 50 pound bag of play sand and pulled off the clog I was wearing. I looked down and looked for the classic black spot of a honey bee stinger still attached to the skin. I pulled it out with my fingers. Yes, you read that right I pinched the darn thing and pulled it out as fast as I could.I was not waiting to walk into the house to find a credit card to slowly pull the darn thing out. I can’t even imagine waiting to get the stinger out for myself but what about a toddler? Really, who is going to make them wait until you get in the house and find your pocketbook and dig out a card, the whole time they are screaming at the top of their lungs to make it stop and tears are flowing. I am not that MaMa, I am a get that thing out of their as fast as you can and let’s get it washed ASAP, kinda grandma. Some research supports me in my thinking and others say do not take the chance to inject any more poison. I just know that the faster I get my personal stingers out of the skin the less they swell. So I remove them as fast as I can and head for a bathroom. I find that cool water is a God send. It cools the stink and washes away any dirt or grass that maybe in the sting area. If the cooling would only last a little longer. If possible I take an aspirin or an antihistamine … Yea, I know common sense would tell you to do this. Many people forget that aspirin is perfect for reducing swelling and pain suppression and Antihistamines stops the terrible itching that always fallows a good sting. If you can’t get to Aspirin or a Allegra and you are treating a child try this. Mix up your own batch of Baking Soda and water and apply as a past to the sting.
Let this concoction dry and it will sooth the sting. It took about 5 minutes for the majority of the pain to pass away. Then to combat the swelling I washed my foot again with a cool wash cloth and used it as a compress. I have also used ice packs for wasp stings. I am more sensitive to them and swell a lot more. Although, today all I really needed was to reach in my fridge and find a Blue Ice cooler pack and use it, wrapped in a paper towel.
After about three hours, I found that with a dose of Allegra, the ice and soda, I was totally fine. No pain, No swelling, and no itching, this was a great first day. Things went very well for a couple of days and on the 3 day after spending a large amount of time on my feet I did notice a little swelling in my pinky toe and across the bridge of my foot and some general itching. I guess even after 48 hours there was enough poison in my system to have a slight reaction when I was walking all day.
Some of the other things that my family has tried over the years that do not help us who swell up like balloons are…. deodorant, Calamine lotion, Toothpaste, and most of the bee sting kits. Most of the kits only mask the pain with a skin numbing agent and a small amount of rubbing alcohol. They do nothing to reduce swelling and the itching. These two symptoms are actually the worst for my family. I can usually get the stinging to stop with the above treatments,but they do nothing for the later effects. I have taken my son to the ER due to swelling of his foot so big that he was unable to wear shoes or see his three smallest toes for several days. So I always keep on had any form of generic children’s allergy medication and my Adult version just in case something happens. I even take them on vacations with us in our medical kits.
I hope that your summer is sting free. I am hoping that I am the only one in my family to have this experience this year. I know my heart would be broken if it was little Christopher who got in a fight with a bee and lost. Kids have such little bodies to deal with this and they suffer so much more than we do. So keep in mind these tips and maybe your summer will be a little more comfortable for everyone.
I was stung multiple times by a hornet that got in behind my safety glasses (with side shields). My wife mixed up a batch of masking clay (women smear it on their faces I guess). She mixed it with vinegar and smeared it all around my eye. It drew the swelling down remarkably fast. Nice post.