Summer first aid: the bugs are back!

Les-bibittes-460.jpgOn a nice sunny day, a friend of mine was playing with her infant nephew at their cottage out in the woods. When the kid accidently hit a nest of wasps with the ball, the annoyed insects quickly launched a group attack on all the humans in the vicinity.
Luckily, my friend managed to get the little one inside quickly. But since their cottage is quite far from a medical clinic, they were worried sick that the child would be allergic to wasps bites.

While most insect bites are harmless, for children and adults who have severe allergies, insects are more worrisome. So, with the arrival of summer, remember some basic prevention and what to do in case of allergic reactions.
Please note: if a child or adult show signs of breathing difficulties after a bite, call 911 for help.
·         When you are in a wooded or grassy area, children should wear a long-sleeved shirt and pants.
·         Where there are ticks, use a rubber band or tape to join the trousers and socks.
·         Avoid perfume or other scented lotion.
·         Do not apply repellent around the lips, eyes or on wounds or irritated skin. For children, do not  use DEET repellent (containing DEET in greater than 25% concentration).
·         Check for insects or ticks when children come home from outside.

 In case of a sting:
·         Make sure the ABCs (airway, breathing and circulation) of the child are present.
·         Remove the stinger by scraping. Pinching the stinger may inject more poison, so do not use tweezers.
·         Perform a secondary examination and treat any injuries that are not life-threatening.
·         Wash affected area with soap and water.
·         Apply a cold compress to the affected area to reduce swelling, but put a thin cloth between the pad and the skin to prevent it from freezing. Apply for 20 minutes every hour.
·         Observe children for signs of an allergic reaction.
To learn how to prevent and treat ticks bites, read our post Summer first aid: Watch out for ticks and Lyme disease.

Please note that the information provided in this post does not replace first aid training. Sign up for a course and get trained in first aid programs offered by the Red Cross.
Download our free First Aid App at to be better prepared for your children’s big and small hurts!

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