How to Treat Children for Bee and Wasp Stings

bee sting


For most people, a bee or wasp sting is little to be worried about. There may be a little redness and soreness, but little else. However, for a child,  a sting can be a big deal; especially when stung for the first time.

Wasps are more aggressive than bees, with the ability to sting more than once. The stinger on a wasp is smooth and won’t stay in the skin, whereas a bee will leave behind its venom sac attached to a barbed stinger.

It’s not uncommon for allergic reactions to develop, especially with wasp stings – in which case a trip to the hospital may be needed after administering first aid for anaphylaxis. Luckily, though, this is a pretty rare occurrence.

While a child will feel the same pain with both stings, how they are treated is different.

Treating a bee sting

  • First, don’t try to remove the sting by pulling on it. Simply scrape the venom sac away with your finger nail or a makeshift ‘tool’ such as a business card or debit card
  • Then wash the area with water and apply an ice pack
  • If, after a short while, the swelling has become worse or your child is still in pain, then it will be necessary to call the doctor or visit the emergency ward at your local hospital

Treating a wasp sting

  • Clean the area with warm water
  • Apply ice
  • Keep an eye on your child for any signs of anaphylaxis, and treat accordingly

Being stung by a wasp or bee is part of the process of growing up. It’s a shock to a child that such a small creature can cause such pain. After treatment, to ease that pain a little paracetamol (or similar) can be given (and maybe a lollipop, too!).