Keeping bites and stings under control this summer

Don't forget to keep bug spray on hand and use in whenever you're outside.

Don’t forget to use bug spray with DEET whenever you’re outdoors.

Warmer weather means you and the kids are spending a lot more time outside, and so are insects. If you get a bite or a sting, do you know what to do? A bite can cause a mild reaction (from mosquitoes, some spiders, etc.) that will usually go away after a couple days, or it could cause a severe one (if it causes an allergic reaction or is from a spider like a black widow or brown recluse). Here are some tips to help with the different kind of bite reactions.

Mild reaction:

  • Swelling
  • Mild pain
  • Itchiness

What to do:

  • Remove the stinger (if applicable)
  • Wash the area with soap and water
  • Apply ice to the bitten area
  • Acetaminophen or ibuprofen can help with pain
  • To ease itching, apply a calamine lotion or anti-inflammatory hydrocortisone

Severe Reaction:

  • Difficulty breathing
  • Swelling of the throat
  • Dizziness
  • Hives
  • Fever-like symptoms
  • Nausea, cramps, and vomiting

What to do:

  • Identify the insect or spider, if possible. Even if it’s been killed, it could help identify what kind of bite it is.
  • Apply ice to the bite
  • See a doctor

For more insect-specific tips on bug bites, here are tips.

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