Insect bites and stings

Bites and stings are normally harmless and usually only cause minor irritation by becoming red, swollen and itchy for a few days.

You can easily treat them by washing the area with soap and water and placing a cold compress (a flannel or cloth soaked in cold water) over to reduce swelling.

Tell your child to avoid scratching to reduce the chance of infection. If they are in pain, or the area is swollen, use paracetamol or ibuprofen.

See a GP if there’s a lot of swelling and blistering of the area or if there’s pus, which indicates an infection.

In rare cases, some people can have a serious allergic reaction (anaphylaxis) to a bite or sting. Dial 999 for an ambulance if your child experiences:

  • difficulty breathing or swallowing
  • nausea, vomiting or diarrhoea
  • dizziness or feeling faint
  • confusion, anxiety or agitation