Allergy to Venom? Get top tips on preventing stings
As we reach the peak of summer, insects such as wasps and bees are back in large numbers due to the warmer weather. For those who are allergic to wasp and bee stings, this means being extra vigilant when out and about.
We will talk you through some useful tips in this article, but be sure to download the ‘Allergy to Wasp and Bee Sting’ Factsheet here for further information.
It is important to remember that most people survive sting allergy reactions, even if they receive no effective treatment, so don’t panic! However, stings can cause unpleasant reactions and a severe local reaction may cause swelling over a period of hours and in some cases the entire limb that has been stung may swell up. If swelling is near the face or neck, it should be watched carefully in case it causes breathing difficulty.
Avoiding wasps and bees if you suspect an allergy is key. Although it is difficult to avoid insects as they are difficult to spot, there are certain measures you can take to reduce the risk. This includes:
- wear darker colours as brighter colours can attract insects
- avoid wearing highly scented sprays
- stay indoors when eating and drinking during the times when bees and wasps are most prevalent as bees and wasps are attracted to food
- avoid drinking out of cans where possible as wasps may crawl inside! avoid provoking bees or wasps and keep calm by gently brushing the insect away if it lands on you. More commonly wasps are more aggressive than bees yet both will usually sting in self defence.
- drive with the windows up and air conditioner on to avoid wasps and bees entering your vehicle
If your child has an allergy to wasps or bee stings, inform their teachers and ensure they have a management plan in place in case they have an allergic reaction.
You can find more information on allergy management plans here. Wearing a Medic Alert bracelet or medallion is also important as it will have details of the allergy and treatment required in case of an allergic reaction.