Now that it’s summertime, it’s bound to happen. Someone gets stung by a bee. But this year, remain calm and follow these 4 tips from a professor of family medicine at Loyola University Health System, Aaron Michelfelder.
- Don’t move – nothing attracts bees more than movement. So when one approaches you try not to swat or run away.
- If you do get stung get the stinger out as quickly as possible. The longer the stinger is in your skin the more venom will be released. But don’t use tweezers or your fingernail to remove the stinger! This can squeeze out even more venom! Use a credit card instead, and run it over the wound, while trying to get under it to dislodge the stinger.
- Hold ice on the wound for 20 minutes, which is enough time to slow the venom down so it isn’t so painful. If needed, take ibuprofen for the pain and an antihistamine to help reduce swelling.
- If you’re allergic to bee stings, call 911 or get to your nearest Emergency Department. Signs of allergic reactions are feeling lightheaded, breaking out in hives (no pun intended), or having trouble breathing. If you have an epinephrine shot handy use it, but head to the ED regardless since the shot will only last about 30 minutes. BEE CAREFUL!