Insect stings from a bee, wasp or hornet can be painful but are
usually not dangerous. First there is a sharp pain, followed by
mild swelling, redness and soreness.
Sometimes they can cause the body to have a severe allergic
reaction (anaphylactic shock), so it’s important to look out for
this and get medical help quickly if necessary.
What to look for
There are four things to look for:
- 1. Redness
- 2. Swelling
- 3. Itchiness
- 4. Stinging pain
What you need to do
If you can see the sting, brush or scrape it off sideways.
(Don’t use tweezers to try and pull it out, or you could squeeze
more poison into the wound).
Put an ice pack or something cold on the wound to reduce the
swelling and raise the part of the body that's affected. If the
sting is in the mouth or throat, get them to suck an ice cube or
sip cold water.
Keep checking the casualty's breathing, pulse and level of
If you notice any signs of an allergic
reaction ‒ such as breathing difficulties or
reddened, swollen itchy skin, particularly to the face or neck
‒ call 999 or 112 for emergency medical help.