Insect bites and stings can occur at home or while in the outdoors. Usually, these injuries require simple home remedies. But individuals with allergy to insect bites and stings may develop severe signs and symptoms that require emergency medical help.
Signs and symptoms
Early recognition of insect bites and stings is essential. Signs and symptoms of insect bites and stings include:
- Redness, swelling or pain in the affected area
- Muscle rigidity in the stomach, chest, shoulders and back
- Tingling, burning or numbness
In case of allergic reaction, the individual may develop symptoms that include:
- Anxiety and restlessness
- Tremors, paralysis or weakness of limb
- Swelling of eyelid and oral cavity
- Difficulty breathing
- Loss of consciousness
First aid for insect bites and stings
- Move the person away from the place where the accident occurred. Stay in a safe place.
- If there is visible stinger, use a straight-edged object such as cards to scrape-off the stinger.
- As much as possible, avoid using tweezers as it can squeeze out the venom, releasing more venom into the body and further aggravating the effects of the sting.
- Cleanse the area thoroughly with soap and water.
- Apply cold compress over the affected site.
- If it causing severe itchiness, apply cream on the site.
- Infection can result within few days after the incident. If it causes increased itching, pain, swelling or redness, consult medical professional.
If the person develops acute allergic reactions, such as difficulty of breathing, rapid pulse or loss of consciousness, first aid for insect bites and stings include:
- Move the person away from the place where the accident
occurred. Stay in a safe place.
- Check airway, breathing and circulation.
- Call 911 or your local emergency service provider.
- If the victim becomes unconscious, start CPR and rescue breathing.
- Provide reassurance and make the person calm.
- Remove objects that may aggravate the swelling (necklace, bracelets, ring).
- Check for medical identification tag to see if the person
has serious allergy to insect bites and stings. Usually, they are
prescribed with an emergency epinephrine kit.
- If the person has an epinephrine auto-injector, use it as
- Stay with the victim while waiting for medical help to arrive.
Lastly, cases of insect bites and stings may vary greatly. Taking a
first aid training course can help you effectively assess and treat the victim. These training programs often include first aid for insect bites and stings.