The Stingers of Summer
Summer is a season for trips to the beach, boat rides, and slippy
slides. It is a time in which strong family bonds are formed, kids go
barefoot, and instead of counting seashells, children get to use them
as fancy decorations for their sand castles. So how is it that a fishing
trip with dad can turn from joyful to painful in a matter of seconds?
I would like to introduce you to two of the most popular stingers of
summer: Bees and Jellyfish. Both are capable of producing a sting so
painful, your child would rather promise to clean their room, and yours,
every day for eternity,than deal with the pain of being stung. So, how
do you get to become the “all powerful healer” in the world
of parenthood where power seems unattainable? Knowledge baby. It is
important to know how to prevent painful stings, what to do if they
happen, and when to seek the advice of a physician.
Where there is play, there are likely to be bees. This is because they are attracted to the sweet morsels of food that children usually don’t leave home without.
It is hard to believe that such tiny little buzzing things can create such havoc for a family picnic. I once had to leave my lunch box at the park because hornets were swarming the half empty juice box sitting inside. Although they are supposed to be self contained units, those little boxes leak very easily. I have since learned that open container laws should be broadened to include juice boxes and pouches. We owe it to our children to take back our days of picnicking and put an end to invasions of the bee kind.
Rule #1: Do not attempt to look or smell like a flower or you are likely
to be treated as such. This includes, but is not limited to, shirts
stained with bananas from breakfast, lotions that smell like honeydew
melon, and brightly colored shirts decorated with large bright flowers.
Remove the Stinger: Honeybees, which are the cute fuzzy guys, usually
leave their stinger in the victims skin and then buzz off and die. Now
you know where the term “buzz off” came from. It is important
to remove this stinger ASAP because the longer it stays in, the more
pain it causes. You can use your nail or a credit card to scrape the
stinger out. Make sure you don’t squeeze it since this can cause
more venom to be released.
About 3% of children will have severe reactions to bee stings. If your
child experiences hives, itching in areas other than where the sting
occurred, nausea, vomiting, stomach cramps, hoarseness, or difficulty
breathing and/or swallowing, you should call the doctor right away.
Also, if your child is stung more than 10 times, or was stung in the
mouth or nose you should call a doctor immediately.
The best way to prevent jellyfish stings from happening is obviously
to avoid coming in contact them. If you see an area with a lot of jellyfish,
try to walk further down the shore to another area for swimming.
Immediately rinse the area with salt water or no water at all. Using
fresh water will make the sting worse because it causes the release
of more toxin. It is also a good idea to keep the affected limb still
for a while to prevent further spreading.
If you are in Australia and your child is stung by a jellyfish, it
is imperative that you seek a doctors care immediately. The box jellyfish
of Australia can actually inflict a sting capable of causing death.
*References available upon request.
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