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If your child has recently been diagnosed with a stinging insect allergy, then he or she is allergic to the venom released when stung. Thus you probably already want to prevent your child from experiencing anymore stings.
While most people know to watch out for bees, they do not understand that yellow jackets, hornets, fire ants, and paper wasps will produce the same sort of allergic reaction as a honey bee. You should be the most careful when it comes to hornets, because they are far more aggressive than other stinging insects. Follow the tips below to make sure your child does not come into contact with a hornet.
Be Most Cautious in Late Summer
You may see hornets throughout the spring and early summer, but the stinging bugs are not likely to come near you or your child; this is true even if your child is eating or drinking something sweet outside. During this time of the year, the hornets you see flying around will be in search of proteins to feed the young larvae that hatch in the hive, create a nest, and protect it while the larvae leave the nest.
During late summer, the adult hornets switch from defending the nest and young to thinking about their own survival. The insects then look for things that will provide them with a quick burst of energy. Sugary treats like the ones your child may bring outside for a snack may be ideal. When hornets go after these snacks, they are unlikely to be scared off easily with hand movements. It is best to keep foods indoors during August and September to prevent the hornets from bothering your child.
If a hornet does come near, then inform your child to back away slowly. Swatting will cause the hornets to sting and they will be able to sting multiple times without losing their stinger. Hornet stingers are smooth, unlike barbed bee varieties. While a bee will only sting when absolutely necessary due to the potential loss of the stinger, a hornet will not have to worry about this or think twice about stinging your child.
Most kids like to walk around the yard barefoot or wear sandals when the weather is nice. Unfortunately, your child may accidentally step on a hornet's nest if they do this. While bees will scout out the perfect location and create hives in trees that are far away from activity, hornets do not do this. Hornets need to create new homes each spring and they typically find a convenient location, especially since the home is temporary. They will make nests in holes in the ground or around the foundation or lower porch of your home. These are all areas where it can be easy for your child to step on a nest.
Instead of allowing your child to go outside in sandals, make sure they wear lace up sneakers that are made out of a tight weave fabric. Cotton canvas varieties with a thick rubber sole are a good choice. These types of shoes will prevent a hornet from stinging through the material if an incident with a hive does occur.
Also, ask your child to stay away from anything that looks like a small paper mache creation. These gray formations are hornets nests and hornet will defend the nest all throughout the spring and summer. They also will follow a perceived threat and sting even if the intruder moves far away from the nest. Inform your child that they should run as far as possible from the nest if they happen to disturb one.
For more tips or assistance, contact services such as Oak Brook Allergists.