If you spend time outdoors this summer, you’ll have to be prepared to deal with insects. Bites and stings can be unpleasant, but they don’t have to ruin your barbecue or camping trip. Here are some tips on how to manage pests while enjoying the summer weather.
How to Treat Insect Bites and Stings
If you or someone else gets bitten or stung, you’ll most likely be able to handle it with some simple first aid and common supplies. Start by checking the area to see if a stinger is lodged in the skin. If so, use your fingernail or the edge of a credit card to remove it.
Wash the site with soap and water, then apply a cold pack to minimize swelling and pain. Apply hydrocortisone cream to the affected area. Antihistamine medication can help with itching, and an over-the-counter pain reliever can reduce discomfort.
Keep the insect bite covered to prevent an infection and to keep the person from scratching the site and causing more irritation. Monitor the individual for signs of an infection, such as pain, warmth, swelling, or increased redness around the site of the sting.
When to Get Professional Medical Care
For a person with an allergy, an insect bite can be a life-threatening situation. If you know that the individual who got stung is allergic, seek medical help immediately.
If someone gets stung by an insect and you don’t know if the person is allergic, be on the lookout for signs of anaphylaxis. Those can include a rapid pulse, difficulty breathing, swelling in the face or throat, hives, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, dizziness, and loss of consciousness.
If an individual displays any of these symptoms after getting bitten by an insect and the person has an epinephrine auto-injector, administer a dose by pressing the auto-injector against the person’s thigh for several seconds. Then call 911 or have someone else call while you’re administering epinephrine.
How to Protect Yourself from Insect Bites
Take precautions to reduce the risk of insect bites and stings when you’re outside this summer. Avoid areas with standing water because they tend to attract mosquitoes, especially at dawn and dusk. Wear clothes and shoes that cover your skin as much as possible and apply insect repellent to exposed areas.
Make sure that you have essential supplies on hand whenever you spend time outdoors. 1st Aid Supplies sells small first aid kits that can easily fit in a car or a backpack. They include hydrocortisone cream, bandages, cold packs, over-the-counter pain relievers, and other necessities. Order a kit today.