During the summer months, we often spend more time outside enjoying the warm weather. But serious insect bites and stings can quickly turn your day around for the worst. Bug bites and stings are often mild and only produce minor skin irritation. However, certain insects can trigger a toxic or allergic reaction that requires emergency medical attention. Children tend to be more dangerously affected by insect bites and stings than adults. Staying informed will allow you to recognize the signs of a dangerous reaction.
A toxic reaction occurs when the body is exposed to a poison. Signs that an insect’s venom may have caused a toxic reaction include:
Call 911 or visit your nearest emergency center if you suspect you are having a toxic reaction or other medical emergency.
Venom from the following insects can cause dangerous toxic reactions:
Multiple bug bites or stings from the following insects can also cause dangerous toxic reactions:
If you are allergic to any bug bites or stings and are having a breathing-inhibiting allergic reaction, inject yourself with epinephrine and go to the nearest emergency center or call 911. If you experience any of the following symptoms, seek emergency medical attention:
The site of the bite or sting also has the potential to become infected and may need medical care. If the location of the bite or sting increases in pain or swelling, has red streaks leading away from it, has pus drainage, or you have a fever, the bite or sting may have become infected.
If someone is suffering from dangerous insect bites or stings, call 911 or visit an emergency department. St. Luke’s Health emergency departments are always ready to help in an emergency. Find your nearest location so you know where to go when minutes matter.
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