It’s that time of year again. The bugs are out in full force and we are also spending more time outside enjoying the great weather. Insect bites are indeed a part of life but there are some that are more damaging than others. As well, a person that is allergic to a certain type of bug bite could end up facing a life or death situation if first-aid is not administered immediately.
Most insect bites only cause a mild reaction if the person doesn’t have an allergy to them. Bites from ants, wasps, bees, flies and mosquitoes can cause the following symptoms:
The body automatically reacts to the proteins or venom that are injected into the skin through the bug’s saliva. The symptoms listed above can vary from one person to the next depending on the type of bug. The stinger should be removed gently in the area washed with soap and water. An ice pack can help reduce any swelling or pain associated with the bite and calamine lotion or a paste of water and baking soda can be applied to the site to relieve pain and itching.
A person that is allergic to a bite or a sting, however, can exhibit one or more of the following symptoms:
- Breathing problems
- Swelling of the throat, lips or face
- Vomiting and/or nausea
- Abdominal cramps
Many people that know they are allergic to insect bites carry an EpiPen. If you or someone that you are with has an allergic reaction, the EpiPen should be used immediately. This will help prevent anaphylaxis from setting in. A call to 911 should be placed as well so that the symptoms can be monitored.
In many cases a person will be bitten for the first time by a bug and won’t know that they will experience an allergic reaction. In this scenario call 911 immediately and encourage the person to lie down and help them elevate their legs. Talk in a calm, soothing manner and be prepared to administer CPR if the person stops breathing.
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