Adventist Youth Honors Answer Book/First aid/Insect bites

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Though ticks and leeches are not technically insects, we will deal with them here as if they are. Most of the time insect bites and stings will not require first aid. However, you should be aware that there are many insect-borne diseases including Lyme's disease, Rocky Mountain spotted fever, malaria, yellow fever, bubonic plague, etc. Be on the alert for any sickness following an insect bite, and contact a doctor if you suspect transmission of an insect-borne disease.


First aid is aimed at reducing the discomfort caused by an insect bite or sting and preventing infection:

  • Get away from the insects to avoid additional bites or stings.
  • For stings, scrape the stinger away - do not use tweezers or otherwise pinch a stinger, as this will cause more venom to be injected into the wound.
  • Place an ice pack over the affected area to reduce pain and swelling.
  • Apply hydrocortizone, calamine lotion, or make a paste from three parts baking soda and one part water and apply that to the affected area.
  • Give the patient an antihistamine such as Benadryl.
  • Remove ticks by pulling them straight out with a pair of tweezers. Be careful not to break a tick's mouth parts off beneath the skin. Contact the child's doctor who may ask you to save the tick and bring it in for testing. Do not try to remove a tick by touching it with a hot match head or by covering it with petroleum jelly.
  • Do not scratch
  • Wash the affected area with soap and water.