First aid tip: first aid for wasp stings

There’s nothing more annoying than a wasp sting – especially at a summer BBQ. Luckily, the first aid for a wasp sting is incredibly simple…read on to find out how to deal with a pesky sting!

1) Watch for any signs of  a serious allergic reaction known as ‘anaphylaxis’ – things to watch out for include difficulty in breathing, severe swelling and redness over the whole body. If you suspect they are having an allergic reaction then call an ambulance immediately.

2) If the ‘stinger’ is still visible in the skin then try to remove it. It’s best to try to brush the stinger away using a credit card / fingernail rather than using tweezers.

3) Cool the area using an ice pack / bag of frozen peas / cold compress. This will help reduce the swelling and the pain.

If you are concerned at all about the sting then seek medical attention. If you suspect someone may be having a severe allergic reaction then you should call an ambulance immediately. Be wary of stings to the mouth / tongue as these can obstruct a person’s breathing, always seek medical attention.


John Furst

JOHN FURST is an experienced emergency medical technician and qualified first aid and CPR instructor. John is passionate about first aid and believes everyone should have the skills and confidence to take action in an emergency situation.

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2 Responses

  1. katews says:

    I have experience with this one and I still cringe when I remember it. The wasp was hiding in the opening in the washer lid handle… and his timing to go there was lousy because I was doing laundry that day… reached right into it and the pain in my hand and fingers was intense.

    I sure wish I would have read this before it happened… I never even thought of looking for a stinger. 🙁 I did use the ice, but I could have thought of it faster and it probably would have helped more.

    Bottom line is that I didn’t do anything for quite a while because I didn’t know what to do. Great reason to learn more first aid than I knew at the time!

  2. soldier 1 says:

    Hi this experience that I had could help other people in a similar situation.
    During collection of my lunch from a mobile sandwich shop a wasp entered my right ear and became traped it was going crazy buzzing way down my ear drum and thankfully not stinging me, I was banging on my head trying to remove it but no avail this went on for about 15 minuets and it seems it could not be removed and a trip to casualty seemed likely some one near come up with a solution he poured water down my ear and the wasp came out in one go with much relief and because I,m a animal lover I picked it up and placed it on the grass and within 2 minuets it flew off none the worse for its experience, hope this trick helps others.

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