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Stay Out of Stinging Insects' Way This Summer
Date:8/4/2014

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  • Trouble breathing
  • Swelling of the tongue, throat, nose and lips
  • Dizziness
  • Fainting, or loss of consciousness, which can lead to shock and heart failure
  • Anyone who has had an allergic reaction to an insect sting is at greater risk for a more severe reaction if they are stung again. An allergist can help determine exactly which insect is causing an allergy and develop an action plan that should be followed if another sting occurs.

    "An epinephrine injection is the most immediate way to treat a severe allergic reaction," noted Dolen. An allergist can prescribe an epinephrine auto-injector and provide directions on how to use it.

    Venom immunotherapy may be another option, added Dolen. "These shots are 97 percent effective in preventing potentially life-threatening reactions to insect stings," he said.

    Children who are allergic to insect stings should be informed about how to avoid them, Dolen cautioned. Parents and guardians of these kids should also make sure that their child's teachers, coaches and camp counselors are aware of the allergy and know how to use epinephrine.

    More information

    The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention provides tips on how to protect yourself from insect stings.

    SOURCE: Children's Hospital of Georgia, news release, July 23, 2014

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