Bees, wasps, hornets, and yellow jackets can all sting.  Stings cause painful red bumps right away.  Most of the time, the pain is better in a couple of hours.  The sting may continue to swell, however, for 24 hours.  If your child was stung many times, your child may vomit or have diarrhea, headache, and fever. 


Stings can also cause an allergic reaction in some people.  If your child is allergic, he or she may find it hard to breathe or swallow.  Your child could pass out or get hives.  Call 911 right away if this happens.




1.      Give acetaminophen (Tylenol) or ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin) to help with the pain and burning.

2.      Rub each sting for 20 minutes with a cotton ball soaked in baking soda and water.  If it still hurts, rub it with an ice cube for 10 minutes.

3.      If your child ever gets stung again, look for the stinger.  If there is a little black dot in the area of the sting, the stinger is still in the skin.  Scrape the stinger off.  If only a small piece is there, it will come out on its own.


Call 911 right away if your child finds it hard to swallow or breathe.


Call your child’s doctor or return to the Emergency Department if:

1.      The swelling continues to get worse after 24 hours.

2.      The swelling of the hand or foot spreads past the wrist or ankle.

3.      You have any other questions or concerns.