When you are
stung by an insect, poisons and other toxins enter your skin. It's normal to
have some swelling, redness, pain, and itching around the sting. But you may
allergic reaction if your
immune system reacts strongly to
allergens in the sting.
You probably won't have a severe allergic reaction the first time you are stung. But even if
your first reaction to a sting is mild, allergic reactions can get worse with
each sting. Your next reaction may be more severe or even deadly.
Does your child miss school due to allergies? If so, you're not alone.
Seasonal allergies are believed to affect as many as 40% of U.S. children.
On any given day, about 10,000 of those children miss school because of their
allergies. That's a total of more than 2 million lost school days every
Even if your child doesn't miss school, allergies can get in the way of a
productive school day, so managing allergies at school is an important part of
caring for your child's health.
Swelling of your tongue, throat,
or other body parts.
Nausea, vomiting, or diarrhea.
Anaphylaxis, which is a severe, life-threatening reaction that requires emergency treatment. It causes confusion, trouble breathing, and other symptoms.
How are allergies to insect stings diagnosed?
doctor may do a physical exam and ask you questions about your symptoms and
past health. He or she also may want you to have allergy tests after you get
better from the allergic reaction. Allergy tests, such as skin prick tests or blood tests, can help you find out which
types of insect stings you are most allergic to.
How are they treated?
When you are stung
For a severe reaction, such as confusion and trouble breathing:
If you have your allergy kit, use the antihistamine medicine and
epinephrine shot. Then go to the emergency room.
For a large, local reaction or a mild reaction, you can typically treat it at home.
Use an ice pack to reduce
swelling. If you can, raise the body part where you were stung.
Take a nonprescription pain reliever, such as aspirin, acetaminophen (Tylenol, for example), or ibuprofen (Advil, for example). Do not give aspirin to anyone younger than age 20 because of the risk of
antihistamine to help with the itching. Read and
follow the warnings on the label. And don't give antihistamines to your child
unless you've checked with the doctor first.