Summer is a time of year when people enjoy being outside. Whether you spend time having picnics, mowing the lawn, or walking through your neighborhood, summer is a favorite season for fun in the sun. A common health hazard that few think of, however, is the bug bite or sting. For most people a bee, hornet, or wasp sting is just painful, but three in 100 people have allergic reactions to insect stings. Often, people with allergies don’t know they have them until the sting occurs. In many cases, these allergies can be life-threatening.
There are some simple steps to keeping insects away. First, avoid wearing heavy perfumes or colognes, wear light colors and avoid floral patterns (both dark colors and florals attract stinging insects), and be sure to guard your sugary drinks like soda. For most people, a sting will cause pain and swelling of the affected site. See a doctor or the ER immediately if you have:
- Hives, itchiness, or swelling over large sections of your body.
- Tightness in your chest or trouble breathing.
- Swelling of your tongue or face.
- Dizziness or the feeling you will pass out.
Being outside in the summer can be a lot of fun, so don’t let insects get in your way. Just know how to deal with a sting. See your physician if you have any questions about a big bite or sting.
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