Bites & Stings

With the weather becoming warmer, the activity and numbers of many insects, including bees and wasps increases. There are many old wives’ tales on how to deal with such stings, including vinegar and bicarbonate of soda. Times and knowledge has moved on, so here are some top first aid top tips to help you to deal with bites and stings.

Bees generally leave the venom pouch in the body of the victim and fly away and die. You may see this sticking out of the location of the sting and it is best to use a credit card, or similar card to scrape it out. Do not use tweezers, as you risk squeezing more of the poison into the body. As there is a hole in the skin apply a plaster to cover it. There may well be swelling, so use a cold compress, such as an ice-pack to help to reduce the swelling, for at least ten minutes. Advise to seek medical advice if the pain or swelling persists or increases.

The same applies to wasp stings, although the wasp does not leave the venom pouch in the victim.

Tick bites should be treated in a similar way as with bee stings. However, use some tweezers to grasp the tick’s head as close to the casualty’s skin as you can, and gently pull it out in a steady, upwards motion. Ticks can carry disease, so place the tick in a sealed bag and give it to the casualty and advise the casualty to take it with them, should they need to seek further medical advice.

If the sting is to the mouth or throat, give the casualty an ice cube to suck, or a glass of cold water to drink, to help to reduce the swelling. If swelling starts to develop, call 999 or 112

Always be aware of the risk of anaphylactic shock. The individual may not suffer from this condition however bites and stings may cause this reaction.

The key signs to look out for are:

Breathing difficulties and swelling of the face and neck

If this occurs dial 999 or 112 immediately and if they suffer from anaphylactic, assist them in administering their emergency medication.

If you would like some first aid training in relation to these and other conditions, please do not hesitate to contact Passion First Aid on 01452 446020, email, or go to our website,

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