Schooldays.ie - Ireland's Online Resource for Parents & Teachers

Parenting & Education in Ireland

What to do if a bee stings your child



Bees and wasps are nature’s friends. They help pollinate flowers, bringing life to your garden and they are a vital part of our ecosystem. Most of the time bees and wasps will do their best to avoid people and kids, and especially stinging one.

However, when they are defending themselves they do sting, and it really, really hurts. What’s more, some insect stings can cause severe reactions and can be potentially dangerous to the unlucky few. So here’s what to do if your child gets a sting and how to avoid getting stung!


Honey bees rarely sting and only the females have an actual stinger so it’s best to teach your child not to panic if one buzzes too close. If one comes too near, tell them to stay calm. Teach children to avoid swatting insects and going berserk!

Show them that if they remain calm and still, the bee or wasp will realise they are not a juicy flower and buzz away. If they do accidently anger the little guy and get stung, here’s what to do.

    • Get them away from the insects: chances are there’s more around and they may call for reinforcements.
    • Get the stinger out as soon as possible - you can use your fingers - it won’t re-sting you.
    • Wash the area with soap and water.
    • Check for skin reaction. If it’s a bad reaction or they have been stung multiple times by a wasp, soak the area in cool water, or ice the area to ease the itching and bring down swelling for 15 minutes. Keep an eye on the area for further reaction.
    • Take an antihistamine and painkiller to reduce itchiness and pain if needed.
    • Severe allergic reaction. Although rare, If your child is allergic and at risk of anaphylaxis make sure the child has an auto-injector ( Epi-pen) and seek medical attention immediately! Symptoms include: a rash, wheezing, dizziness, swollen tongue, hands or face,
    • Some home remedies we've heard of include: treating the area with one of the following: calamine lotion, honey, raw onion, potato skins, baking soda.

Bee and wasps stings generally hurt more than the cause damage and the pain will go in a few hours. However a sting is always traumatic for a child so it is best to teach them to avoid being stung in the first place. If you feel your child is risk being stung out and about, don't let them carry sweet food around outside, dress them in long sleeves, keep their feet covered, and don’t let them play near blooming flowers.


The information contained on schooldays.ie is not a substitute for examination, diagnosis or treatment by a qualified medical professional. If in doubt, always consult your doctor.