Treating wasp and bee stings

My grandson was stung by a wasp not long ago. What should a person do immediately about an insect sting, before seeking professional medical attention?

Not all stings require professional attention. If your child is stung by a wasp or a bee, apply a cold compress to reduce pain and swelling. If you can see the stinger, remove it by gently scraping it off horizontally (with a credit card, for example). Grabbing it and pulling it out may squeeze more venom into the child’s skin. Don’t try to remove a honey bee stinger; it has a barb on it that will stick in the skin. The stinger will dissolve after a few days. Wash the area well with soap and water. Bee stings and mosquito bites may be more swollen on the second or third day after they occur. Your pediatrician may recommend the use of oral Benadryl or hydrocortisone cream to treat itching.

Call for medical help immediately if the child suddenly has difficulty breathing, feels weak or collapses, has hives or itching all over the body, or extreme swelling near the eyes, lips or penis. These symptoms occur in an allergic reaction to an insect bite and represent a true medical emergency.

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