Top First Aid Tips for insect bites and stings
Summer weather heralds the arrival of all sorts of flying insects. It is extremely common for people to get stung by angry wasps or sleepy bees, particularly when eating outside or walking around in bare feet.
Bee stings – if someone is stung by a bee and the sting remains in the skin, quickly flick it out using your thumb nail or a credit card. Try not to squeeze the sting as this
can increase the amount of allergen entering the body and therefore increase any possible allergic reaction.
Only bees leave their sting, wasps and other stinging insects do not leave the sting behind in the wound.
First Aid for stings
If the person who has been stung experiences a local reaction, apply a wrapped ice pack to the affected area and this will help to reduce the swelling and can reduce pain as well. Antihistamines will also help reduce the reaction and will treat pain, itching and swelling.
If the casualty shows any signs of a systemic reaction or of anaphylactic shock, call an ambulance immediately and use their Adrenaline Auto-injector if they have one. Reassuring them and positioning them appropriately can make a major difference to their treatment.
If they are struggling to breathe, they should be encouraged to sit in an upright position, putting something under their knees to help increase their circulation can be helpful – into the lazy W position.
If they are not having trouble breathing, but are feeling dizzy, sick and thirsty – they are showing the signs of shock should lie down with their legs raised to help increase the circulation to their vital organs. They should stay lying down even if they appear to recover, as sitting or standing them up could be dangerous. Encourage them to turn their head to one side if they are likely to vomit. They should be covered to keep them warm and kept in this position until the paramedics arrive.
Treat for shock by elevating their legs, if they are showing symptoms of shock and are not having breathing problems
It is highly recommended that you attend a practical or online First Aid course to learn how to help in a medical emergency
First Aid for Life covers stings and insects bites in all its courses. Book your place here!
We also have released a free e-book guide to bites & stings that you can download here
First Aid for life and onlinefirstaid.com provides this information for guidance and it is not in any way a substitute for medical advice. First Aid for Life is not responsible or liable for any diagnosis made, or actions taken based on this information. The best way to be prepared for action in an emergency is to attend a practical First Aid course.