Bee stings are a pain. They also tend to swell. For a little one, the surprise of a bee sting is often enough to send them into a tizzy. The stinging pain that follows isn’t going to make them happy either.
As for most childhood injuries, there is a long list of home remedies for bee stings. Luckily, many solutions rely on common household products that you’re likely to have nearby when a sting occurs.
If your child is allergic to bee venom, you’ll know it soon after the sting. If you notice any wheezing or trouble breathing, swelling of the lips or tongue, weak or rapid pulse, or any other alarming symptoms, call 911 or head to the emergency room immediately. Read on for 8 natural remedies to help take the "sting" out of a painful encounter with a bee.
Unstick the stinger.
First, remove the stinger. Do not attempt to use tweezers, which will likely crush the stinger and the venom sac that may still be attached. Instead, scrape the stinger out with the edge of a playing card or credit card and do it quickly, as it may still be pumping venom into the skin.
Decide on a method.
Next, choose your remedy. Each of the suggested remedies is most effective when applied immediately after the sting occurs, before the venom can spread and cause pain. These remedies can safely be combined if you need a two- or three-punch approach to ease the symptoms.
Good Old Baking Soda
Mix a small amount of baking soda with water to form a thick paste. Apply it to the site of the sting. Allow it to dry without washing it off.
Lavender essential oil has natural antiseptic qualities. Apply one drop of lavender oil directly to the bee sting for instant relief. (Do not use undiluted essential oils on children under 2 years old.)
Crush a clove of garlic to release the juice. Apply garlic juice directly to the bee sting and allow it to air dry.
Smash or chew up a plantain leaf and apply it directly to the area of the bee sting for immediate relief.
Crush fresh calendula flowers between your fingers to release their liquid and apply it to the sting.
Tear or crush basil leaves to release their natural oils, and pack them on the site of the bee sting.
In an ironic twist, the honey that bees make can actually take the sting from, well, their stings. Just rub a small amount of honey (preferably raw, local honey) over the area of the bee sting.
If you were smart enough to plant bee balm in your garden, this is the time to use it. Pick fresh bee balm leaves and either chew them or roll them between your fingers to release their juices. Apply the leaves directly to the site of the sting.