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Insect Stings

Avoiding insect stings may not always be possible. However, knowing how to respond should your child experience an allergic reaction from an insect sting, could provide more peace of mind in the event of an emergency.

Insect stings that most commonly cause allergic reactions:

Insects that are members of the Hymenopteran family most commonly cause allergic reactions. These include the following:

What are the symptoms of an allergic reaction to an insect sting?

For most children, when stung by an insect, the reaction is short-lived, with redness and swelling followed by pain and itching. Generally, the reaction lasts only a few hours, although some may last longer. For others, however, allergic reactions to these insect stings can be life threatening. This severe reaction is a medical emergency that can involve organ systems throughout the body. The reaction is called anaphylaxis, or anaphylactic shock, and can include severe symptoms such as the following:

Immediate medical attention is required.

Can insect stings be prevented?

Avoidance of insects is the best preventive measure. Suggestions for helping your child avoid insect stings include the following:

Treatment for insect stings:

Specific treatment for insect stings will be determined by your child's physician based on the following:

Suggestions for immediate treatment for highly-allergic children, according to the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology, include the following:

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