Staying Clear of Insect Stings This Summer

prevent-stingsIt may seem like common sense – if you want to avoid a sting, avoid insects that sting. However, when it’s summertime and you’re enjoying activities outside, keeping an eye out for hornets or yellow jackets is probably the last thing you want to think about. So, here are a few quick steps you can take before heading into the great outdoors that will reduce your chances of getting stung and increase your chances of having a fun, healthy day:

  • When getting ready to go outside, avoid wearing perfume, bright clothing, or shiny jewelry because these can attract insects. You can also spray yourself with DEET insect repellant before going outdoors.
  • Before settling down to a picnic or a barbeque, check the area for any apparent insect nests. Also avoid areas that have a lot of open trash containers, since the insects will go where they smell the most food.
  • Do not walk around barefoot. Bees are often found in grassy areas where clover is present, and burrowing wasps make their nests in the ground.
  • If you or anyone who will be spending time outdoors with you has a known allergy to any type of insect sting, carry an epinephrine autoinjector at all times. Also called EpiPen®, Twinject®, or Adrenaclick®, this treatment should only be used if someone is exhibiting a serious allergic reaction or going into anaphylactic shock.

If you do get stung, move away from the insect as quickly as possible. In the case of a bee sting, try to remove the stinger with tweezers or your fingernails. Someone who is not allergic may develop some localized redness, itching, or swelling that can be treated with calamine lotion, an ice pack, and ibuprofen. If someone who is stung seems to be developing a systemic reaction that includes hives or shortness of breath, get to the ER immediately.

For treatment of minor, non-life-threatening stings, bites, and rashes, turn to the healthcare experts at South Tampa Immediate Care. You can contact our walk-in clinic today for more information about our services, or you can browse our full list of online articles for more tips on safe, healthy living.