Angry Bee Season Is Upon Us; How Do I Know If My Child Is Allergic To Bees

Who else has noticed that the bees in the Northeast are beginning to get more aggressive? It’s not your imagination, and it’s pretty common during this time a year. What you should know is that we’re entering angry bee season. Usually, during the late summer and early fall, bees get close to the end of their life cycle and prepare to die off. As they fight for survival and resources, they get angry, and are more likely to display aggressive behavior than throughout the first few months of their life span. 

With other things happening like COVID-19 spikes and school reopenings, the last thing we want is our children getting stung by a bee and having a potentially fatal allergic reaction. AFC Urgent Care Danbury is here to help answer many questions from concerned parents about bee stings.  “How do I know if my child is allergic to bee stings?” and “What should I do if my child gets stung by a bee?” are common questions that we have the answers to.

How to avoid getting stung by an angry bee

The National Pest Management Association (NPMA) offers the following tips for avoiding stinging insects during this time of year

  • Wear shoes when outdoors, especially in grassy areas.
  • Wear clothing to cover as much of the body as possible
  • Keep windows and doors screened.
  • Keep garbage in sealed receptacles.
  • Do not swat at a stinging insect as it increases the likelihood of an aggressive reaction.
  • If stung, seek immediate medical attention as reactions can be severe.
  • Call a pest professional if you find a nest on your property or suspect an infestation.

Our add-on: Be careful in public parks and playgrounds this time of year, especially near the garbage pails, where bees tend to swarm. 

If you or your child does get stung however, it’s important to understand the difference between a ‘normal’ reaction to a bee sting, and an allergic reaction to a bee sting.

What is a normal, non-allergic reaction to a bee sting?

With the majority of bee stings, one will only see minor reactions, such as itching, hives or rashes and soreness. If this is the extent of your reaction, your child is probably not allergic to bee stings.

What you should do immediately after getting stung by a bee

  • Remove the stinger
  • angry-bee-season-is-upon-us-how-do-i-know-if-my-child-is-allergic-to-bees-afc-urgent-care-danburyApply a cold compress or ice
  • Treat with Tylenol or NSAID
  • Apply topical ointment such as Neosporin to fight any possible infection, and possibly Caladryl, to combat itching

Don’t use tweezers to squeeze it out. Using tweezers to remove a bee sting runs the risk of squeezing more venom into the wound. Try removing the stinger by scraping a fingernail over the area, using a credit card or using gauze to wipe it out.

Possible symptoms of an allergic reaction to bee stings, or anaphylaxis

In the U.S. only 3% of all children stung by bees experience severe allergic reactions, however sometimes a child might get stung 2 or 3 times before having an allergic reaction. Especially if there is a family history of allergic reactions to bees, parents should always be prepared for an allergic reaction if a child is stung, as a severe allergic reaction can be life threatening.  A severe bee sting reaction is known as anaphylaxis. If your child is stung and experiences any of the following severe reactions there is a good possibility that they are allergic to bees.

Symptoms of an allergic reaction to bee stings, or anaphylaxis

  • Throat closes
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Wheezing
  • Racing heart
  • Face or mouth swelling
  • Fever

AFC Urgent Care Danbury can treat bee stings and allergic reactions

If you know your child is allergic to bee stings, you should carry an Epipen on your person at all times. If stung, Immediately call 911 or get your child to the nearest ER. We are ready to help you identify any allergies at all of our Danbury AFC urgent care centers.  Our providers at all three of our locations are well equipped for the challenges of angry bee season. Come stop by today!