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Summer Safety Tips: Insect Bites

If you’ve ever been stung by a bee, you know it can be painful, right? The summer is the perfect time for these and other insects to find a way to attack your body. Let’s face it; any kind of insect bite can be an awful experience, both for adults and children. Here are some summer safety tips for avoiding, and treating insect bites:

To avoid insect bites, purchase DEET. Most over-the-counter repellents now contain DEET, and are safe to use on children as young as 2 months old, as well as adults. Stay away from open beverages that contain sweetener. Sweetened beverages, like soda and juice, attract stinging insects. Standing water are breeding grounds for mosquitoes. Empty, or cover the pool at the end of the day, and don’t leave any potted plants outside that may contain standing water. Always wear shoes, and dress in long pants, and a lightweight, long-sleeved shirt to cover skin. Also, wear light-colored clothing. When outdoors, particularly at night, you can purchase Citronella candles, and place them on the patio tables.

The first thing to do when stung by a bee or wasp, is to look at the spot where you were bitten, to determine if there’s any stinger remaining. If there is, use a firm object, like a credit card to sweep across the area, and pull out the stinger. Don’t squeeze or pinch the skin to remove the stinger. This will cause additional venom to be released into the bite. Use soap and water to clean the area of the sting. Treat any reaction by applying a cool compress, or ice. To relieve the redness and pain, adding hydrocortisone to the affected area will help. If you develop a severe allergic reaction, such as difficulty breathing or swallowing, call 911 and seek emergency care immediately.