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bites & stings

Often, parents and caregivers are unaware of a child's allergy to certain animal stings until they have a reaction.  The best course is always prevention, but if exposure does occur, use this guide to handle the emergency.


  • Rid your home and yard of any bee or hornet nest.  ALWAYS use a professional for this task.


  • Avoid heavy perfumes or scented body washes and lotions.  Bees and wasps are attracted to these, much like a flower.


  • Don't walk barefoot outdoors.


  • Tightly secure the lid on all garbage cans.  Move them into the garage, if possible, to avoid unwanted pests.


  • Eating or drinking sugary foods outdoors will also attract insects.  Make sure you properly dispose of all food afterward as well.


  • Never encourage your child to approach a child animal, even if it is only a baby.  Wild animals are unpredictable and can be dangerous.


  • Teach your child to never pet a domestic animal without permission.


  • If the stinger is still present, remove it with your fingernail.  


  • Wash all bite wounds with soap and water.  Treat with an antibiotic ointment and wrap the wound securely.


  • Keep an eye on wounds, even minor ones, for reddness and swelling for up to a week after the event.  If present, it may indicate an infection which will need treatment with an antibiotic.


  • Contact your pediatrician immediately if you suspect the animal is rabid.  Contact animal control in your town to catch and destroy the animal.


  • If the child is having difficulty breathing or swallowing, or has swelling around the face, call 911 immediately.


  • Call the Poison Control Center for further advice.

Call Poison Control


The Poison Control Center is a poisoning emergency information service staffed by nurses, pharmacists and doctors.  They will answer your questions about what to do in the event of a poisoning, and can offer suggestions for the proper use and storage of pharmaceuticals and chemicals in the home.

All calls are free and completely confidential.

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