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The Bumblebee Boogie: The Medicine Mom

Most of us, when under attack by a bee, start performing what I call,
the "bumblebee boogie." We jump to the left, to the right, and then
wave our arms in all directions like some sort of crazed lunatic.

These winged assaults tend to strike at the most embarrassing times,
such as when the hunky UPS guy drives by or when reaching out to shake
the hand of your spouse's boss at a company picnic. To help prevent any
awkward outdoor moments for your little ones, who embarrass so easily,
just follow these simple "bee-etiquette" dos and don'ts:

What To Do:
1. Protect your children:
-Dress them appropriately. If you are taking your children to an area
prone to bees, dress them in light colored clothing, closed toe shoes,
and top them off with a hat.
-Teach them the "be still and blow" rule. If a bee lands on them, they
should remain quiet, sit still, and gently blow the bee off.
2. Treat the sting: If a sting occurs, follow these steps:
-Remove the Stinger. Honeybees, which are the "fuzzy kind", will often
leave their stinger in the skin. It is important to remove the stinger
as soon as possible by gently scraping it with a credit card or
fingernail. Do not squeeze it out with tweezers as this may cause the
release of more venom.
-Apply ice and elevate the affected area for 10 to 30 minutes to
decrease swelling.
-Treat the itching and pain. Calamine lotion, Benadryl lotion, or
hydrocortisone cream may be helpful in reducing the itch that is often
associated with the stings. I also recommend Tylenol for pain. A simple
at home solution is to combine one part meat tenderizer with four parts
water and apply to the affected area for no longer than thirty minutes.
If none of the above options are immediately available, you can apply
regular underarm deodorant to the sting. Although this method is not as
effective as the others, it may provide some relief in a pinch.
3. Learn to recognize an emergency: Approximately 3% of children may
experience severe reactions to bee stings. Symptoms to watch out for
include: hives, itching in other areas, difficulty breathing or
swallowing, hoarseness, stomach cramps, nausea, and vomiting. If your
child experiences any of these symptoms, or is stung more than ten
times, it is important to call a doctor right away.

What NOT to do:
1. Dress your child like a flower. If you dress your kids up like
daisies and daffodils, they are likely to be treated as such.
2. Let your little girls play in your Victoria's Secret lotion
collection prior to a trip to the park. If this happens you will be
fighting off the bees and the boys!
3. Run like a bat out of hell. This may scare the bee and anyone
who may be watching.

We all want to protect our children but despite all of our hard work,
accidents happen. Teaching our kids common sense lessons about
interactions with bees will hopefully help lessen the chances of a sting
occurring. Just remember, if and when your child does have a bee
encounter, tell them that although their first instinct may be to break
out and boogie, have them try to do the impossible: Be still and very,
very quiet.

*P.S.S. (Parent Sanity Saver): If picnicking with young children, I
highly recommend sippy cups with valves and lids over juice boxes. Juice
boxes and pouches spill very easily which may lead to an unwelcome visit
from the local hornets.

The author is a doctor of pharmacy and mother of two. Feel free to
e-mail questions/comments to drk@themedicinemom.com and visit her
website at www.themedicinemom.com.

Categories: Children's Health, Health & Wellness, Women's Health,

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