Helpful Tips For Bites & Stings...



Bites And Stings

Caring for Bites and Stings

Dangerous bites and stings can come from a variety of places, from the household pet, to the hornet in the barn, to the little boy next door. No matter how the bite or sting occurs, however, it must be treated promptly to prevent infection, allergic reactions, or other complications; it's important to be prepared for all types of emergencies. These are just a few tips that will keep you and your family safe this summer season.

Insect Bites



Spider/Scorpion Bite/Sting

The bites of some spiders, such as the black widow and the brown recluse, are particularly dangerous because they affect your whole body. Bites from both of these spiders can cause fever, nausea and pain in addition to the skin reactions at the site of the bite. If you believe you have been bitten by one of these dangerous spiders, see your doctor immediately. Before you do, follow these guidelines:



People who are allergic to the venom injected by any insect face a life-threatening situation. Symptoms of such a reaction may include swelling of the lips, tongue, throat, or around the eyes; coughing, wheezing, or difficulty breathing; and widespread numbness or cramping. Hives may appear on the skin. Speech may be slurred, and anxiety, mental confusion, nausea and vomiting, or unconsciousness may occur.

If you are allergic to the stings of any insect, get immediate medical attention if you are stung. If you know you are sensitive to bee stings, your physician can provide you with a special emergency kit containing a hypodermic syringe with epinephrine (adrenaline). Keep this kit handy, especially when you are at risk of being stung. A person who loses consciousness after a bee sting should be treated for shock. Call for emergency help immediately.

Marine Life Stings



Snake Bites



Tick Bites

The danger of tick bites results from bacteria carried by the insect that can cause Lyme disease and other severe illnesses including encephalitis (brain inflammation). Lyme disease appears primarily as a form of arthritis but may also cause a wide variety of symptoms. If you have a circular skin eruption after you have been in an area where ticks may live (underbrush or tall grass), you may have been bitten by a tick carrying the infectious microorganism.

If you find a tick crawling on your skin, carefully remove it. Do not crush it between your fingers; instead, drop it in a fire or smash it between two rocks. Wash your hands afterward.

If the tick has already bitten you and is holding on to your skin, do not pull it off. Cover it with any type of oil, which will loosen the tick's grip on your skin. Then remove all parts of the tick with tweezers and wash the area thoroughly. Watch the area carefully for the next week or two for signs of Lyme disease.

The best treatment for tick bites is prevention. If you are going into areas where ticks may live, wear appropriate clothing, use tick sprays, and conduct "tick-checks" in the areas you go.

Animal Bites

Household pets cause most animal bites. Although most of these bites come from dogs, those from cats are more likely to become infected. Bites from wild animals are especially dangerous because of the threat of rabies. If you or your child is bitten by any animal, follow these guidelines:

Human Bites

Human bites can often be as or more dangerous than animal bites because of the types of bacteria and viruses contained in the human mouth.

If you sustain a human bite that breaks the skin, stop the bleeding by applying pressure, wash the wound thoroughly with soap and water, and apply a bandage. Then visit your physician or an emergency room. If you have not had one in the past 10 years, you should have a tetanus booster.