non-pa child\'s 1st bee sting -- allergic reaction?

Posted on: Sat, 10/19/2002 - 12:35am
anonymous's picture
Joined: 05/28/2009 - 16:42

My 4-year-old non-pa child was stung by a bumblebee late yesterday. This was his first sting ever. The bee stung him through his shirt & my husband knocked it off almost as soon as it landed, so it didn't sting him very badly, BUT within seconds, hives started appearing around the sting site. These quickly spread to his back & chest (sting was on his shoulder). I gave him Benadryl & they went away. Since it was after hours & he seemed okay & I already had epipen jrs. because of my 2-yr-old son's pa, I didn't call the dr. until this morning. My son's dr. wasn't working today (only 1 dr. works Sat.) & the dr. who was working thought it definitely sounded like a bee allergy & called in epipen prescription. I only talked to the nurse (who had talked with the dr.) but the nurse said the dr. didn't recommend going to allergist (unsure if dr. just didn't mention calling allerg. or said she didn't recommend) but to keep epis on had at all times. I'm calling allergist on Monday anyway, because I would hate to worry about this if he's not even allergic. I'm assuming there are skin tests for bees that can pinpoint which bees he's allergic to. Anyone with experience in bee allergy tests? Thanks!

[This message has been edited by MacAllister's Mom (edited October 23, 2002).]

Posted on: Sat, 10/19/2002 - 1:29am
ACBaay's picture
Joined: 03/19/2002 - 09:00

I'm sorry to hear of your son's reaction. It does sound like he had an allergic reaction to the sting. I would consult your allergist to confirm, and also to see what they recommend. Bee sting immunotherapy is available and deemed, by many, to be highly effective. Also, I would keep the epi with him at all times, and train any caregivers.
Good Luck,

Posted on: Sat, 10/19/2002 - 5:24am
cathlina's picture
Joined: 06/29/2001 - 09:00

I was stung by a bumblebee when I was 5. The next time I was walking barefoot and was stung when I was 16. There was no immediate reaction. But my foot and lower leg started to swell and turn red.
I have been stung three times since by wasps with no reaction but have gone to the emergency room each time I was stung. I have been given a 50 mg. shot of Benadryl each time.
I started carrying an epi-pen...just in case.
I have read various places that if you are allergic to bees, you shouldn't eat honey. Does anyone else know anything about this?

Posted on: Sat, 10/19/2002 - 12:43pm
anonymous's picture
Joined: 05/28/2009 - 16:42

Sounds like a definate allergic reaction. My 10 yr old (non-PA) son is allergic to bee stings. He has never been tested, but has had many stings and each time his reaction is worse. He has not yet had any breathing problems or hives, he swells, and with each reaction his swelling is worse and last for days (his last sting, he stayed swollen for a week and a half)...Benadryl has always been effective for him. When he goes for his check up this yr, I will be getting him an epi prescp. Haven't worried about it since I have Camerons epi's, but now that his reaction is getting as bad as it is, I want more than Benadryl at school for him.
To answer the honey question...My son eats honey w/o any problems.

Posted on: Wed, 10/23/2002 - 2:12am
anonymous's picture
Joined: 05/28/2009 - 16:42

Thanks for the replies. It's amazing how little info I've been able to find on bee allergies. I did speak with the allergist & they do feel certain he is allergic. However, they do not recommend allergy testing because it is not a "friendly" test like the scratch tests for food allergies. They would have to actually inject different venoms -- a total of about 20 shots. Because they would basically be "recreating" a bee sting each time, there is a high rate of serious reactions from the testing. They usually only test if someone has had serious reactions from a sting & would benefit from venom therapy. My son is too young for that now. I do not want to put him through risky testing. Hopefully we won't get stung again for a long, long long time! There's always something to worry about. He is kind of excited that he has his OWN emergency kit now.

Posted on: Wed, 10/23/2002 - 7:09am
Joanne's picture
Joined: 02/22/1999 - 09:00

I'd read somewhere that any bee sting where the reaction is more than localized (at the site of the sting) is serious.

Posted on: Wed, 10/23/2002 - 10:53am
Jazz It Up's picture
Joined: 08/19/2002 - 09:00

I don't know about the honey but my sister is allergic to bees (carries Epi-Pen) and any makeup containing bees wax makes her swell terribly. This might be something else you may want to watch out for.
Stay Safe!
[This message has been edited by Jazz It Up (edited October 23, 2002).]

Posted on: Wed, 10/23/2002 - 1:25pm
anonymous's picture
Joined: 05/28/2009 - 16:42

That's interesting about the bees wax in makeup, thank goodness my son won't be wearing make-up, hopefully [img][/img]
My son has never reacted to honey and he's eaten it many times, in fact he loves it. But it may depend on different types of bees the allergy is too, or what is in different honeys? Good question!

Posted on: Thu, 10/24/2002 - 5:13am
williamsmummy's picture
Joined: 03/26/2002 - 09:00

Really , it does sound that your son has bee allergy, however its does sound rather stupid that your doc automatically gives out epi -pens with out pushing for a comfirmation of a Severe allergic reaction to bees. Why put parents and children through the strain of coping with epi-pens when there may be no need?
Get your son tested , by all means take the precaution of carrying the epi's during this time.
On the subject of honey , my son has tree pollen allergy, and when he was younger had mild reactions to honey, ( hives over body), but I have never heard of any one having anaphylatic reactions to honey as well as bee stings.
good luck with your child,

Posted on: Thu, 10/24/2002 - 11:50am
anonymous's picture
Joined: 05/28/2009 - 16:42

Thanks for the replies -- I'll watch out for beeswax. He does love chapstick -- hopefully make-up won't be an issue for him. He's had honey before with no problem. In response to the dr. giving epipen prescription without allergy testing first, as you'll read in my 2nd post, allergy testing for bees is extremely risky as they have to inject the venom -- scratch test and blood test are not reliable for venom. There is an extremely high rate of life-threatening reactions from the test. There is no way I'd put my 4-year-old through that. In addition, they (as do I) feel certain it was an allergic reaction -- covered in hives within a few minutes of barely being stung. There's really no other explanation (I wish there were). My MIL has a bee allergy, so it's in our genes I guess. Carrying the epis aren't that big of a deal since I carryt them everywhere for my pa son anyway. Thanks everyone for all the info. There's really not that much info out there on bee allergies.

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