First aid and safety tips:
Ouch! That bite stings!
Spring isn’t the only thing in the air–insects are
everywhere! No matter what outside activity you plan to do,
chances are you won’t go far without meeting some form of
insect. In most cases, insect bites or stings are annoying but
not particularly dangerous. However, in some instances, an
allergic reaction can become serious and even life threatening.
St. John Ambulance, Canada’s leader in first aid training
and products, says it’s wise to know what to do should an
insect bite or sting you.
First Aid for an insect bite or sting
1. Examine the sting site closely, looking for the stinger
that may still be in the skin.
2. If a stinger is visible and accessible, attempt to remove
it by carefully scraping it and the attached poison sac from the
skin. Don’t use tweezers, fingers or anything that might
squeeze more poison into the body.
3. To reduce the irritation at the site of the sting, apply
rubbing alcohol or a paste of baking soda and water. Ice can
also be used. Never use alcohol near the eyes.
4. If the sting is in the mouth, give the person a mouthwash
of one teaspoonful of baking soda in a glass of water, or a
piece of ice to suck on. Monitor the casualty for swelling or
difficulty breathing. If symptoms occur, get medical help.
Signs of an allergic reaction to insect bite or sting
A person suffering an allergic reaction to an insect bite or
sting may display some or all of these symptoms:
1. General itching - a rash may develop around the bite,
spreading over the body.
2. A bump on the skin - may be white, pink, reddish or
3. Generalized swelling - especially of the airway.
4. Weakness and headache.
6. Breathing difficulties - if they become severe get medical
8. Abdominal cramps and vomiting.
How you react in an emergency could be the difference between
life and death. St. John has training programs and first aid
products to teach you what you need to know to save a life. For
information, contact the St. John Ambulance branch nearest you
or check us out on the Internet at www.sja.ca
- News Canada