Managing Bee Sting in a Child - Effects and Preventions - Health Education - DesiMD Healthcare - India
Health Education

Managing Bee Sting in a Child

Dr.Surya Rao Poodipeddi profile Authored by Dr.Surya Rao Poodipeddi on 19 Jul 2014 - 13:29.


Anybody can get a bee sting. A bee sting can be very painful especially when it attacks a small child. If an army of bees surrounds you when their nest is meddled with, you cannot escape their anger and may suffer several stings.

Attending to a bee sting:

A bee's stinger is like a pump, the longer the duration of its stay on the body the more the venom it releases. It is therefore essential to remove the sting from the area where it has stung immediately after the sting. Always look for a small black dot in the center of the reddened swollen part around the sting and remove it immediately by pulling it out with your fingers. Do not try to squeeze the sting because this may release more venom.

Once the sting is removed, wash the area with soap and water. Application of ice pack over the swollen area will help reduce the swelling and also relieve pain.

Ask your doctor whether you can give the child pediatric drops of Acetaminophen to relieve burning and pain and Benadryl to reduce the swelling. 

Effects of the bee sting:

When the child is stung by a bee, you will notice a painful red bump, which appears almost immediately. The swelling may increase over a period of 24 hours. The pain normally begins to disappear after few hours. Notice carefully whether the swelling is progressively increasing and spreading, if so, consult a doctor without any delay.

In rare cases a child may develop severe allergic reaction to an insect sting. This is called anaphylactic shock or anaphylaxis. It may even prove deadly. Take care to notice whether the child develops the following within minutes or hours after the sting to decide the possibility of a severe allergic reaction and call for emergency service. The bee sting can create:

  • Rash at several places in the body.
  • Shortness of breath and an evidence of tightness in the chest
  • Wheezing
  • Giddiness
  • Swollen tongue, hands or face.

The golden rule to remember is that your child may develop more severe reaction to a sting if the child already experienced such a reaction earlier. In such cases, always carry a kit containing injectable epinephrine all times and advise the child to always carry the kit when she is old enough.

Injectable epinephrine is a life-saving drug, which can stop an anaphylactic reaction before the throat chokes or the child passes into coma. Multiple stings prove more dangerous and warrant immediate steps to save the child. More than 10 stings can release sufficient venom to cause vomiting, diarrhea, headache and fever necessitating immediate help from a doctor.


There are several varieties of insect repellents available to prevent insect stings. Unfortunately these repellents don't deter bees and wasps from stinging.  The best you can do is to steer clear of the stinging insects and discourage the child from playing with their nests. Avoid letting the child to play in gardens or orchards, which attract bees. The bees can sting bare feet easily, therefore you should see that the child wears shoes while playing outside. Bees normally get attracted to bright flower prints. Therefore, wearing light-colored fabrics or possibly white colored fabrics will help prevent attraction of bees.

Prevention from bee's stings and alertness in detecting the possibility of severe allergic reactions are weapons, both defensive and offensive in avoiding life threatening situations from seemingly simple stings.

*Disclaimer: This is not medical advice. The content is for educational purposes only. Please contact your doctor for any health care issues.