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
Breath-holding Spell
Bruise
Bruises and Cuts
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
Fainting
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
Jock Itch
Leg Injury
Leg Pain
Lice - Head
Lymph Nodes - Swollen
Medication - Refusal to Take
Menstrual Cramps
Menstrual Period - Missed or Late
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
Scorpion Sting
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 Bleeding
Vaginal Symptoms
Vomiting With Diarrhea
Vomiting Without Diarrhea
Warts
Wheezing Other Than Asthma
Wound Infection

Resources

Is Your Child Sick?TM


Scorpion Sting

Is this your child's symptom?

  • Sting from a scorpion
  • Onset of local pain and tingling after a scorpion is seen in the area
  • The main symptoms are pain, tingling and numbness at the sting site

Scorpions

  • Scorpions look like tiny lobsters in front. In back, they have a long tail with a stinger at the end. It curls up and over their bodies. They have 8 legs, like spiders.
  • Venom: The stinger has venom. The venom causes pain and other symptoms when it is shot into the skin.
  • Size: average size is 3 inches (7.5 cm). Range in size from 1 - 7 inches (2.5 to 18 cm).
  • Scorpions are most active at night. They like dark and moist places.
  • There are about 40 types of scorpions in the US.
  • All scorpions can sting, causing pain, tingling, and numbness at the sting site. Note: Some stings do not inject venom.
  • The only US scorpion that can cause serious symptoms is the bark scorpion. See below.
  • Children and older adults are more likely to have severe symptoms. People with chronic medical problems are also at higher risk.

Bark Scorpion

  • The only US scorpion that can cause serious symptoms is the bark scorpion.
  • Color: bark scorpions are yellow-brown (tan) or orange in color.
  • Size: 2-3 inches long (5-7.5 cm)
  • They are found mostly in Arizona. Also can be found in New Mexico, Nevada, California, and Texas. They also live in Mexico, Central America, and the Caribbean.
  • Deaths in the US from a scorpion sting are rare.
  • Note: Most people cannot tell a bark scorpion from a harmless scorpion. Catching or saving the scorpion to show your doctor is not helpful. Treatment is based on symptoms. Just kill the intruder.

Types of Reactions for Bark Scorpion Stings

  • About 85% cause only local symptoms at the sting site.
  • About 10% cause painful shock waves in the same arm or leg as the sting.
  • Less than 5% cause any serious symptoms.

Mild Symptoms of a Scorpion Sting

  • All scorpion stings cause pain, tingling, and numbness at the sting site.
  • Pain starts right away. The pain can be severe for the first 2 hours. Symptoms around the site start to go away over the next 24 hours.
  • There is often no swelling or redness of the sting.
  • About 10% of stings also cause waves of tingling. The tingling travels up the stung arm or leg. It feels like an electric shock.
  • Most scorpion stings do not need to be seen.

Serious Symptoms of a Scorpion Sting

Most people will not get any serious symptoms. If they do occur, they will start in the first 2-3 hours after the sting. First signs of a serious sting can be muscle twitching or rapid eye movements. Pain, tingling and numbness can also spread to all the arms and legs. Other serious symptoms include:

  • Trouble swallowing
  • Trouble breathing
  • Blurry eyesight
  • Roving or jerky eye movements
  • Slurred speech
  • Muscle twitching

Expert Reviewers:

  • Anne-Michelle Ruha, MD, and Min Kang, MD, pediatric toxicologists

When to Call for Scorpion Sting

When to Call for Scorpion Sting

Call 911 Now

  • Passed out or too weak to stand
  • Trouble breathing or wheezing
  • Drooling or trouble swallowing
  • Seizure or muscle jerking
  • Hives or swelling all over the body
  • You think your child has a life-threatening emergency

Call Doctor Within 24 Hours

  • Spreading redness that started more than 24 hours after the sting
  • You think your child needs to be seen, but the problem is not urgent

Call Doctor During Office Hours

  • Last tetanus shot was more than 10 years ago
  • You have other questions or concerns

Self Care at Home

  • Minor scorpion sting with symptoms only around the sting
  • Waves of tingling and pain only up the arm or leg with the sting
  • Preventing scorpion stings

Call 911 Now

  • Passed out or too weak to stand
  • Trouble breathing or wheezing
  • Drooling or trouble swallowing
  • Seizure or muscle jerking
  • Hives or swelling all over the body
  • You think your child has a life-threatening emergency

Call Doctor Within 24 Hours

  • Spreading redness that started more than 24 hours after the sting
  • You think your child needs to be seen, but the problem is not urgent

Call Doctor During Office Hours

  • Last tetanus shot was more than 10 years ago
  • You have other questions or concerns

Self Care at Home

  • Minor scorpion sting with symptoms only around the sting
  • Waves of tingling and pain only up the arm or leg with the sting
  • Preventing scorpion stings

Care Advice

Scorpion Sting Treatment

  1. What You Should Know about Scorpion Stings:
    • The main symptoms are pain, tingling and numbness only in the sting area.
    • Symptoms shouldn't be any worse than a bad bee sting.
    • Sometimes, the arm or leg with the sting gets waves of tingling and pain.
    • Here is some care advice that should help.
  2. Clean the Sting Site:
    • Wash the sting site well with soap and water.
  3. Cold Pack for Pain:
    • For pain or swelling, use a cold pack. You can also use ice wrapped in a wet cloth.
    • Put it on the sting for 20 minutes.
  4. 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.
  5. Treatment of Painful Shock Waves up the Arm or Leg:
    • Until they go away, keep using the pain medicine as needed.
    • Also, try to avoid bumping that arm or leg.
  6. What to Expect:
    • Pain at the sting site is usually gone by 24 hours.
    • Shock waves of tingling also gone by 24 hours.
    • Numbness and tingling around the sting may last 2 to 3 days.
  7. Call Your Doctor If:
    • Serious symptoms occur
    • Pain, tingling or numbness start on both sides of the body
    • Sting starts to look infected
    • You think your child needs to be seen
    • Your child becomes worse

Prevent Scorpion Stings

  1. Prevent Scorpion Stings:
    • Do not walk barefoot in the desert, especially at night. Scorpions are most active at night.
    • Check your shoes before you put them on (shake them).
    • Shake out clothes, towels, bedding, and sleeping bags before using.
    • Roll back your sheets at night, before getting into bed.
  2. Prevent Scorpions Around Your Home:
    • Clear away any piles of wood or debris that are near the house. Scorpions hide there.
    • Weatherstrip your windows and doors.
    • Place the legs of a baby's crib in wide-mouthed glass jars. Scorpions can't climb glass.
    • Hire a pest control expert for repeated problems.
  3. Call Your Doctor If:
    • You have more questions

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

Disclaimer: this health information is for educational purposes only. You, the reader, assume full responsibility for how you choose to use it.


Copyright 2000-2018. Schmitt Pediatric Guidelines LLC.

Scorpion

This image shows the frontal view of the bark scorpion of Arizona.

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