Stings, Bites And Allergies, Oh My!

Summer time is the perfect time to run around and play outside. More time outside means more opportunities for allergic reactions, bites and stings.

The American Academy of Pediatrics has some tips on what you should do if your child is stung, bitten or has a reaction.

Stinging insects: Remove the stinger as soon as possible with a scraping motion using a firm item (such as the edge of a credit card). Put a cold compress on the bite to relieve the pain. If trouble breathing; fainting; swelling of lips, face or throat; or hives over the entire body occurs, call 911 or your local emergency number right away. For hives in a small area, nausea, or vomiting, call the pediatrician. For spider bits, call the pediatrician or Poison Help (1-800-222-1222). Have the pediatrician check any bits that become red, warm, swollen or painful.

Animal or human bites: Wash the wound well with soap and water. Call the pediatrician. The child may need a tetanus or rabies shot or antibiotics.

Snake bites: Take the child to an emergency department if you are unsure of the type of snake or if you are concerned that the snake may be poisonous. Keep the child at rest. Do not apply ice. Loosely splint the injured area and keep it at rest, positioned at or slightly below the level of the heart. Identify the snake, if you can do so safely. If you are not able to identify the snake but are able to kill it safely, take it with you to the emergency department for identification.

Allergy: Swelling, problems breathing, and paleness may be signs of severe allergy. Call 911 or your local emergency number right away. Some people may have emergency medicine for these times. If possible, ask about emergency medicine they may have and help them administer it if necessary.


While we hope you do not need to visit our Emergency Departments or Children’s Emergency Center, our facilities are open 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

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