Abdominal Pain - Female
Abdominal Pain - Male
Acne
Animal or Human Bite
Antibiotics: When Do They Help
Arm Injury
Arm Pain
Asthma Attack
Athlete's Foot
Back Pain
Bed Bug Bite
Bee or Yellow Jacket Sting
Blisters
Bottle-Feeding Formula Questions
Breast-Feeding Questions
Bruise
Burn
Chest Pain
Chickenpox
Circumcision Problems
Colds
Constipation
Cough
Coughs: Meds or Home Remedies
Cracked or Dry Skin
Cradle Cap
Croup
Crying Baby - Before 3 Months Old
Crying Child - 3 Months and Older
Cut, Scrape, or Bruise
Diaper Rash
Diarrhea
Diarrhea Diseases From Travel
Dizziness
Drinking Fluids - Decreased
Dry Skin
Ear - Congestion
Ear - Discharge
Ear - Injury
Ear - Pulling At or Rubbing
Ear - Swimmer's
Ear Infection Questions
Earache
Earwax Buildup
Ebola Exposure
Eczema
Emergency Symptoms Not to Miss
Eye - Allergy
Eye - Foreign Body or Object
Eye - Injury
Eye - Pus or Discharge
Eye - Red Without Pus
Eye - Swelling
Fever
Fever - How to Take the Temperature
Fever - Myths Versus Facts
Fifth Disease
Finger Injury
Fire Ant Sting
Flu
Fluid Intake Decreased
Food Allergy
Foreskin Care Questions
Frostbite
Genital Injury - Female
Genital Injury - Male
Hair Loss
Hand-Foot-And-Mouth Disease HFMD
Hay Fever
Head Injury
Headache
Heat Exposure and Reactions
Heat Rash
Hives
Human or Animal Bite
Immunization Reactions
Impetigo - Infected Sores
Infection Exposure Questions
Influenza - Seasonal
Influenza Exposure
Insect Bite
Jaundiced Newborn
Jellyfish Sting
Leg Injury
Leg Pain
Lice - Head
Lymph Nodes - Swollen
Medication - Refusal to Take
Mental Health Problems
Molluscum
Mosquito Bite
Mosquito-Borne Diseases from Travel
Motion Sickness
Mouth Injury
Mouth Ulcers
Neck Pain or Stiffness
Newborn Appearance Questions
Newborn Illness - How to Recognize
Newborn Rashes and Birthmarks
Newborn Reflexes and Behavior
Nose Allergy Hay Fever
Nose Injury
Nosebleed
Penis-Scrotum Symptoms
Pinworms
Poison Ivy - Oak - Sumac
Puncture Wound
Rash or Redness - Localized
Rash or Redness - Widespread
Reflux Spitting Up
Ringworm
Roseola
Scabies
Scrape
Sinus Pain or Congestion
Skin Foreign Body or Object
Skin Injury
Skin Lump
Sliver or Splinter
Sore Throat
Spider Bite
Spitting Up - Reflux
Stomach Pain - Female
Stomach Pain - Male
Stools - Blood In
Stools - Unusual Color
Strep Throat Exposure
Strep Throat Infection
Sty
Sunburn
Suture Questions
Swallowed Foreign Body or Object
Swallowed Harmless Substance
Swimmer's Itch - Lakes and Oceans
Tear Duct - Blocked
Teething
Thrush
Tick Bite
Toe Injury
Toenail - Ingrown
Tooth Injury
Toothache
Umbilical Cord Symptoms
Urinary Tract Infection - Female
Urination Pain - Female
Urination Pain - Male
Vaginal Symptoms
Vomiting With Diarrhea
Vomiting Without Diarrhea
Warts
Wheezing Other Than Asthma
Wound Infection

Resources

Is Your Child Sick?TM


Bee or Yellow Jacket Sting

Is this your child's symptom?

  • Stung by a honeybee, bumblebee, hornet, wasp, or yellow jacket
  • Over 95 percent of stings are from honey bees or yellow jackets
  • The main symptoms are pain and redness

If NOT, try one of these:


Cause of Bee Sting Reactions

  • The bee's stinger injects venom into the skin.
  • The venom is what causes the symptoms.

Local Skin Reactions to the Sting

  • The main symptoms are pain, itching, swelling and redness at the sting site.
  • Pain. Severe pain or burning at the site lasts 1 to 2 hours. Itching often follows the pain.
  • Swelling. The bee sting may swell for 48 hours after the sting. The swelling can be small or large. Stings on the face can cause a lot of swelling around the eye. It looks bad, but this is not serious. The swelling may last for 7 days.
  • Redness. Bee stings are often red. That doesn't mean they are infected. Infections rarely happen with stings. The redness can last 3 days.

Anaphylactic Reaction to the Sting

  • A severe life-threatening allergic reaction is called anaphylaxis.
  • The main symptoms are hives with trouble breathing and swallowing. It starts within 2 hours of the sting.
  • This severe reaction to bee stings happens in 4 out of a 1,000 children.
  • Hives. After a bee sting, some children just develop hives all over or face swelling. Hives or face swelling alone may be able to be treated at home. But, at times, these symptoms can also lead to anaphylaxis. Be sure to call your doctor now to help decide.

Prevention of Bee Stings

  • Don't go barefoot if bees are around.
  • Be careful in gardens and orchards.
  • Insect repellents do not work against these stinging insects.

When to Call for Bee or Yellow Jacket Sting

Call 911 Now

  • Past severe allergic reaction to bee stings (not just hives) and stung less than 2 hours ago
  • Wheezing or trouble breathing
  • Hoarseness, cough or tightness in the throat or chest
  • Trouble swallowing or drooling
  • Speech is slurred
  • Acts or talks confused
  • Passed out or too weak to stand
  • You think your child has a life-threatening emergency

Call Doctor Now or Go to ER

  • Sting inside the mouth
  • Sting on the eye
  • Stomach pain or vomiting
  • More than 5 stings for 10 pounds (5 kg) of weight. (In teens, more than 50 stings)
  • Fever and sting looks infected (spreading redness)
  • Your child looks or acts very sick
  • You think your child needs to be seen, and the problem is urgent

Call Doctor Within 24 Hours

  • More than 48 hours since the sting and redness getting larger. (Note: Infection is not common. It does not start until at least 24-48 hours after the sting. Redness that starts in the first 24 hours is due to venom)
  • Swelling is huge (4 inches or 10 cm). It spreads across a joint such as the wrist.
  • You think your child needs to be seen, but the problem is not urgent

Call Doctor During Office Hours

  • You have other questions or concerns

Self Care at Home

  • Normal reaction to bee or yellow jacket

Call 911 Now

  • Past severe allergic reaction to bee stings (not just hives) and stung less than 2 hours ago
  • Wheezing or trouble breathing
  • Hoarseness, cough or tightness in the throat or chest
  • Trouble swallowing or drooling
  • Speech is slurred
  • Acts or talks confused
  • Passed out or too weak to stand
  • You think your child has a life-threatening emergency

Call Doctor Now or Go to ER

  • Sting inside the mouth
  • Sting on the eye
  • Stomach pain or vomiting
  • More than 5 stings for 10 pounds (5 kg) of weight. (In teens, more than 50 stings)
  • Fever and sting looks infected (spreading redness)
  • Your child looks or acts very sick
  • You think your child needs to be seen, and the problem is urgent

Call Doctor Within 24 Hours

  • More than 48 hours since the sting and redness getting larger. (Note: Infection is not common. It does not start until at least 24-48 hours after the sting. Redness that starts in the first 24 hours is due to venom)
  • Swelling is huge (4 inches or 10 cm). It spreads across a joint such as the wrist.
  • You think your child needs to be seen, but the problem is not urgent

Call Doctor During Office Hours

  • You have other questions or concerns

Self Care at Home

  • Normal reaction to bee or yellow jacket

Care Advice for Bee or Yellow Jacket Sting

  1. What You Should Know About Bee Stings:
    • Bee stings are common.
    • The main symptoms are pain and redness.
    • The swelling can be large. This does not mean it's an allergy.
    • Here is some care advice that should help.
  2. Try to Remove the Stinger (if present):
    • Only honey bees leave a stinger.
    • The stinger looks like a tiny black dot in the sting.
    • Use a fingernail or credit card edge to scrape it off.
    • If the stinger is below the skin surface, leave it alone. It will come out with normal skin shedding.
  3. Meat Tenderizer for Pain Relief:
    • Make a meat tenderizer paste with a little water. Use a cotton ball to rub it on the sting. Do this once for 20 minutes. Reason: This may neutralize the venom and reduce the pain and swelling. Caution: Do not use near the eye.
    • If you don't have any, use an aluminum-based deodorant. You can also put a baking soda paste on the sting. Do this for 20 minutes.
  4. Cold Pack for Pain:
    • If pain does not improve after using the meat tenderizer paste, rub with an ice cube.
    • Do this for 20 minutes.
  5. Pain Medicine:
    • To help with the pain, give an acetaminophen product (such as Tylenol).
    • Another choice is an ibuprofen product (such as Advil).
    • Use as needed.
  6. Steroid Cream for Itching:
    • For itching or swelling, put 1% hydrocortisone cream (such as Cortaid) on the sting.
    • No prescription is needed.
    • Use 3 times per day.
  7. Allergy Medicine for Itching:
    • For hives or severe itching, give a dose of Benadryl.
  8. What to Expect:
    • Severe pain or burning at the site lasts 1 to 2 hours.
    • Normal swelling from venom can increase for 48 hours after the sting.
    • The redness can last 3 days.
    • The swelling can last 7 days.
  9. Call Your Doctor If:
    • Trouble breathing or swallowing occurs (mainly during the 2 hours after the sting). Call 911.
    • Redness gets larger after 2 days
    • Swelling becomes huge
    • Sting starts to look infected
    • You think your child needs to be seen
    • Your child becomes worse

And remember, contact your doctor if your child develops any of the 'Call Your Doctor' symptoms.

Disclaimer: This information is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice. It is provided for educational purposes only. You assume full responsibility for how you choose to use this information.


Copyright 1994-2017 Schmitt Pediatric Guidelines LLC. All rights reserved.

Bee Sting of Upper Arm

This photo shows the typical localized reaction to a bee sting. There is mild redness in an oval 4 inches (10 cm) wide of the left upper arm.

Bee Sting of Left Hand

Moderate swelling of left hand from a bee sting that occurred the day before.

Wasp
First Aid - Shock - Child
  • Lie down with the feet elevated (Reason: counteract shock).
First Aid - Removing a Stinger

The stinger looks like as a tiny black dot in the center of the sting. There are several different methods of removal. Removing the stinger quickly is more important than the type of removal used.

  • You can scrape it out with a credit card or finger nail.
  • You can also use adhesive tape.
  • If only a small fragment remains, don't worry about it. It will shed with the skin.

Special Notes:

  • In many cases no stinger will be present.
  • Only bees leave their stingers. Wasps, yellow jackets, and hornets do not.
Honeybee Collecting Pollen
Paper Wasp

A paper wasp (Polistes dominulus) in its nest.

Hornet

Bald-faced "hornet" (Dolichovespula maculata).

Select from over 100 symptoms to learn about managing your child's illness.