Common sense precautions to avoid stings:
- Stay away from known beehives or hornet nests to avoid causing what the stinging insects perceive to be a threat.
- Spray nests with insecticide after dark, when hives are less active, or engage a professional to remove the nest.
- Wear shoes-not sandals- outdoors.
- Avoid wearing brightly colored or loose clothing. Insects are attracted to bright colors, and can become trapped in loose clothing.
- Avoid wearing perfume outdoors in the summer.
- Keep food and drinks covered when not in use.
- Keep garbage cans covered tightly.
- Know where stinging insects in your area build their nests and what odors or foods attract them.
- If you or your child is stung, scrape or brush off the stinger with a sharp edge, taking care not to squeeze the attached venom sac. Or, remove the stinger with tweezers or any other available method.
If your child is allergic to stings:
- Make sure he or she wears an appropriate medical alert ID.
- Always have an emergency kit available, especially during the insect season.
- Know how to use a pre-loaded epinephrine autoinjector, and have a supply available.
- Epinephrine is light-sensitive and should be stored in a light resistant container. Do not administer epinephrine if the solution is brown or otherwise discolored or if a precipitate is present.
- Seek medical assistance as soon as possible after administering these medications.
Proper use of insect repellents:
- do not apply children under 2 months of age
- use up to 30% DEET, depending on duration of outdoor activities. Avoid use of higher concentrations in children.
- Apply only to exposed skin and/or clothing. Do not use repellents under clothing.
- Do not apply to eyes or mouth, and apply sparingly around eyes. Do not spray directly on face- spray on hands first and then apply to face.
- Never apply over cuts, eczema, or other breaks in the skin.
- A parent or caregiver should apply the repellent; children may inadvertently ingest it through hand-to-mouth activity.
-Wash repellents off with soap and water at the end of the day.
- Combination products containing DEET and sunscreen are not recommended, primarily because sunscreen should be reapplied frequently, particularly for activities centered around water, which will remove the sunscreen. In contrast, repellents should be applied as infrequently as possible.