Spring is bee season, and just as parents are taking their kids to the park or the playground, bees and wasps are revving their engines and populating the playgrounds and parks in White Plains and Hartsdale as well. At AFC Urgent Care Hartsdale we get questions from concerned parents about bee stings and about how to tell of their child is allergic to bees. The other big question involves what steps they should take if their child is allergic to bees and happens to get stung. Let’s tackle both.

What is a normal, non-allergic reaction to a bee sting?

With most bee stings, one will only see minor, non-critical reactions, such as itching or rashes and soreness, sometimes a minor headache..

How to treat a bee sting when one is NOT allergic:

*remove the stinger
*apply a cold compress or ice
*treat with Tylenol or Ibuprofen
*apply a topical antibiotic ointment such as Bacitracin or Neosporin to fight any possible infection, and possibly
*Calamine lotion or Bactine, to combat itching
In the U.S. only a very small percentage- approximately 3% of all children stung by bees will experience severe allergic reactions, however sometimes a child might be stung 3 or 4 times before experiencing an allergic reaction. Especially if there is a family history of allergic reactions to bees,  however, parents should always be prepared for an allergic reaction if a child is stung, as a severe allergic reaction can be life threatening. Therefore, if you suspect your child is allergic it is important to carry an Epi-pen with you at all times, ready to administer if your child gets stung. A severe bee sting reaction is known as anaphylaxis. If your child is stung and becomes anaphylactic, the chances are good that they are allergic to bees and specific steps should be taken immediately:

What are symptoms of an allergic reaction to bee stings? :

*difficulty breathing; shortness of breath

*throat begins to close or swell

*wheezing

*racing heart

*mouth or face begins to swell

*fever

*severe headache

If your child experiences an allergic reaction to bees:

Immediately use an Epipen and call 911. They should be brought immediately to the emergency room and treated