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A wasp on a daisy

Keep your little one calm when there’s a bee or wasp around and find out how to treat any potential stings

Bees will sting you only once – they leave their stinger and part of their abdomen, that contains the poison sac, behind – and then they die. The aim of the treatment is to remove the stinger without pushing any more poison into the body. Scrape across the top of the sting with something flat, like a credit card, to remove the sting (and the guts!) For some comfort and to reduce the swelling, you can then use a cool pack (never put ice straight onto skin as it can ‘burn’ the tissue). Wasps do not leave their sting behind so after your child has been stung, simply comfort them and reduce the swelling with a cool pack.

What if my child is allergic to lots of things?

If you have a child who is allergic to many things he may well also be allergic to bees. So it’s a good idea to keep an adrenaline auto-injector (such as an EpiPen) in your bag in case of a severe reaction, as well as antihistamine tablets for milder reactions.

Another great tip for the first aid kit is to keep a few lollipops in there. These work well to distract from the pain of something like a bee sting, which can take quite a while to subside.

What should I do if a bee or wasp is close to my child?

Children can become very scared of bees and wasps if they have been stung, so try to be calm, gentle and matter-of-fact about the sting. When around bees and wasps in future, don’t try to kill them as this can sometimes provoke them to sting – it is a defence mechanism for them and their colony. Just try to move quietly away.

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