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First Aid For Bee Stings

Bee stings, especially in the metro cities, are not very common, but are not freakish incidents either. Almost everyone has had bees buzzing around their living rooms at some time. 

Here's what to do in case your child gets stung by a bee. 

1. Remove the stinger. It should be scraped out, and not pulled out. Pulling out a stinger with your fingernails or with a tweezer causes squeezing, and this releases more venom into your body. Scrape it out with your fingernail or a knife blade. 

2. Remember, the venom gland remains attached to the sting, and if it is not removed it will continue to release venom into the body for up to 20 minutes. 

3. Wash the area thoroughly with soap and water. You could even apply a splash of antiseptic like Dettol. 

4. Apply  some calamine lotion. A better substitute however, would be a baking soda and water mixture for bee stings, and vinegar for wasp stings.

5. Relieve pain and swelling by applying a cold compress on the spot. Put ice in a cloth or plastic wrap. Don't apply ice directly on the skin. 

6. Leave the ice wrap on your skin for at least 15 minutes.  

Sometimes, your child may have an allergic reaction to the sting. Severe allergic reactions even cause death, so it is important to carefully observe your child for an allergic reaction. 

Symptoms of an allergic reaction are:

1. Coughing
2. Wheezing
3. Difficulty in breathing
4. Headache
5. Loses consciousness
6. Tightness in chest or throat

If any symptoms of an allergic reaction develop, the stung area should be kept BELOW the level of the heart, and urgent medical assistance should be called for immediately. 

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