In this health video learn all the information you need to help you cope with you child being bitten or stung by an insect.
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Female Speaker: It's hard to imagine that for many people, something as beautiful and rejuvenating as the great outdoors can also be a place that's full of danger. Not from lions and tigers and bears necessarily, but rather, from a host of creatures a whole lot smaller. For most kids, insect stings and bites are just a minor annoyance, a simple, irritating, and often painful part of growing up. But for others, these same stings and bites can be harmful to their health, and even life-threatening. There are varying degrees of responses to a bee sting or an ant bite, mild reaction, which would be some redness or irritation around the site of the bite, all the way to anaphylactic shock. Dr. Mulligan Smith: An anaphylactic shock, this is a life-threatening situation. Your entire body basically shuts down so that your heart is no longer functioning normally. Your blood pressure can bottom out. The person is having difficulty breathing, may not be breathing at all and requires immediate medical attention. These people have their lives in jeopardy. Female Speaker: So, if your child or anyone else for that matter is bitten or stung by an insect or spider, and then exhibits any of the following reactions, shortness of breath, or difficulty breathing, weakness, collapse, or unconsciousness, itching or hives all over their body, or severe swelling around the eyes, lips, or genitalia, as well as any difficulty in seeing, speaking, or urinating, seek medical attention immediately. Even if your child isn't allergic to anything else, it's important to remember that they could still be allergic to stings and bites. If your children do have severe allergies, it is very important that you make sure that everyone involved in their daily care is fully aware of just what those allergies are, as well as their consequences. And, all caregivers should know exactly what to do in the event those allergies create a medical emergency. Jo Anne Finklestein: If the child is, you know, having a bad allergic reaction then yes, I'm going to call 911. Female Speaker: Jo-Anne Finklestein is a caregiver for sisters Jackie and Meghan. Meghan is 12 years old and is highly allergic to bee stings. Her sister Jackie is 14. Jo Anne Finklestein: I'm going to make sure that I'm following each of the steps that are important. If the child isn't breathing, I'm going to make sure I have the inhaler right there to administer that. If she may need a shot, I will have that there too. So I'm going to do all of the necessary steps that way, if she's having a severe reaction that way. And then definitely, I'm calling 911. Female Speaker: The list of informed caregivers should also include babysitters or in Meghan's case, her older sister Jackie. Jackie Smith: Well, we don't go outside when I babysit Meghan so we don't really have any problems with the bees. But if they do get inside and they sting her, I know where the medicine is and I know to call an adult and make sure that I can give her Benadryl if she has hives. But if she blows up and has trouble breathing, then I call 911. Female Speaker: Of course, even if your kids aren't allergic to insects or spiders, nobody enjoys getting bitten or stung. Therefore, while it's impossible to prevent all bites, there are steps you can take to minimize your child's exposure to them. These include, avoiding areas where insects nest or congregate, such as garbage cans, stagnant pools of water, uncovered foods and sweets, and orchards and gardens where flowers are in bloom, not using scented soaps, shampoos, hair-sprays, or perfumes on your child, since they too seem to attract insects. Insect repellents can also be very effective in preventing bites by mosquitoes, ticks, fleas, chiggers, and biting flies, especially if they contain the insecticide DEET. Dr. Mulligan Smith: The insect repellent is great at doing its job to repel mosquitoes, chiggers, ticks those sorts of bugs. It isn't necessarily that effective against bees and wasps and t