What is a sting? Bees, wasps, hornets, and yellow jackets can all sting. Most stings are caused by yellow jackets. Stings cause painful red bumps right away. Most of the time, the pain is better in a couple of hours. The sting could keep swelling for 24 hours. If your child was stung many times, your child may vomit or have diarrhea, a headache, and a fever. This is because of the large amount of venom from the stings. Stings can also cause an allergic reaction. If your child is allergic, your child may find it hard to breathe or swallow. Your child could pass out or get hives. You should call 911 or your doctor right away if this happens.

How can I help my child?

  • Look for the stinger. If there is a little black dot in the area of the sting, the stinger is still in the skin. Just scrape the stinger off. If only a small piece is still there, it will come out on its own.
  • Rub each sting for 20 minutes with a cotton ball soaked in meat tenderizer and water. (Stay away from the area around the eye.) This can help the pain. Or you can use deodorant (with aluminum in it) or baking soda and water for 20 minutes.
  • If it still hurts, rub it with an ice cube for 10 minutes.
  • Give acetaminophen (Tylenol) or ibuprofen (Advil) right away. That will help the pain and burning.
  • If it itches, put on hydrocortisone cream. How can I help prevent bee stings?
  • Make sure your child wears shoes when going outside to play.
  • Have your child stay out of orchards and away from gardens.
Call 911 or your child’s doctor right away if:
  • Your child finds it hard to breathe or swallow.
Call your child’s doctor during office hours if:
  • The swelling keeps getting worse after 24 hours.
  • If the swelling of the hand or foot spreads past the wrist or ankle.
  • You have other questions or concerns.


  • Do not push your child to ride a 2-wheeled bike until he or she is ready, at about age 5 or 6. Consider the child’s coordination and desire to learn to ride. Stick with coaster (foot) brakes until your child is older and more experienced for hand brakes.
  • Take your child with you when you shop for the bike, so that he or she can try it out. The value of a properly fitting bike far outweighs the value of surprising your child with a new one. For more information on finding the proper fit, go to
  • Buy a bike that is the right size, not one your child has to “grow into.” Oversized bikes are especially dangerous.
  • Your child needs to wear a helmet on every bike ride, no matter how short or how close to home. Many accidents happen in driveways, on sidewalks, and on bike paths, not just on streets. Children learn best by observing you. Whenever you ride, put on your helmet.
  • When purchasing a helmet, look for a label or sticker that says the helmet meets the CPSC safety standard.
  • A helmet protects your child from serious injury, and should always be worn. And remember, wearing a helmet at all times helps children develop the helmet habit.
  • A helmet should be worn so that it is level on the head, not tipped forwards or backwards. The strap should be securely fastened, and you should not be able to move the helmet in any direction. If needed, the helmet’s sizing pads can help improve the fit.
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  • Children should wear life jackets at all times when on boats or near bodies of water.
  • Make sure the life jacket is the right size for your child. The jacket should not be loose. It should always be worn as instructed with all straps belted.
  • Blow-up water wings, toys, rafts and air mattresses should never be used as life jackets or life preservers.
  • Adults should wear life jackets for their own protection, and to set a good example.
  • Adolescents and adults should be warned of the dangers of boating when under the influence of alcohol, drugs and even some prescription medications.


  • Don’t use scented soaps, perfumes or hair sprays on your child.
  • Avoid areas where insects nest or congregate, such as stagnant pools of water, uncovered foods and gardens where flowers are in bloom.
  • Avoid dressing your child in clothing with bright colors or flowery prints.
  • To remove a visible stinger from skin, gently scrape it off horizontally with a credit card or your fingernail.
  • Combination sunscreen/insect repellent products should be avoided because sunscreen needs to be reapplied every two hours, but the insect repellent should not be reapplied.
  • Insect repellents containing DEET are most effective against ticks, which can transmit Lyme Disease, and mosquitoes, which can transmit West Nile Virus and other viruses.
  • The concentration of DEET in products may range from less than 10 percent to over 30 percent. The benefits of DEET reach a peak at a concentration of 30 percent, the maximum concentration currently recommended for infants and children. DEET should not be used on children under 2 months of age.
  • The concentration of DEET varies significantly from product to product, so read the label of any product you purchase. For more information on DEET:


  • Fireworks can result in severe burns, scars and disfigurement that can last a lifetime.
  • Fireworks that are often thought to be safe, (i.e. sparklers) can reach temperatures above 1000 degrees Fahrenheit, and can burn users and bystanders.
  • Families should attend community fireworks displays run by professionals rather than using fireworks at home.
  • The AAP recommends prohibiting public sale of all fireworks, including those by mail or the Internet.


  • The intensity of activities that last 15 minutes or more should be reduced whenever high heat and humidity reach critical levels.
  • At the beginning of a strenuous exercise program or after traveling to a warmer climate, the intensity and duration of exercise should be limited initially and then gradually increased during a period of 10 to 14 days to accomplish acclimatization to the heat.
  • Before prolonged physical activity, the child should be well-hydrated. During the activity, periodic drinking should be enforced, for example, each 20 minutes, 5 oz of cold tap water or a flavored sports drink for a child weighing 90 lbs, and 9 oz for an adolescent weighing 130 lbs, even if the child does not feel thirsty.
  • Clothing should be light-colored and lightweight and limited to one layer of absorbent material to facilitate evaporation of sweat. Sweat-saturated garments should be replaced by dry garments.
  • Practices and games played in the heat should be shortened and more frequent water/hydration breaks should be instituted.


Quickly (within 10 minutes):

  • first, cleanse exposed areas with rubbing alcohol.
  • next, wash the exposed areas with water only (no soap yet, since soap can move the urushiol, which is the oil from the poison ivy that triggers the rash, around your body and actually make the reaction worse).
  • now, take a shower with soap and warm water.
  • lastly, put gloves on and wipe everything you had with you, including shoes, tools, and your clothes, with rubbing alcohol and water. Unfortunately, if you wait more than 10 minutes, the urushiol will likely stay on your skin and trigger the poison ivy rash. You may not be able to stop it on your skin, but you might still scrub your nails and wipe off your shoes, etc., so that you don’t spread the urushiol to new areas.


  • Try to use a mower with a control that stops the mower from moving forward if the handle is let go.
  • Children younger than 16 years should not be allowed to use ride-on mowers. Children younger than 12 years should not use walk-behind mowers.
  • Make sure that sturdy shoes (not sandals or sneakers) are worn while mowing.
  • Prevent injuries from flying objects, such as stones or toys, by picking up objects from the lawn before mowing begins. Have anyone who uses a mower wear hearing and eye protection.
  • Do not pull the mower backward or mow in reverse unless absolutely necessary, and carefully look for children behind you when you mow in reverse.
  • Always turn off the mower and wait for the blades to stop completely before removing the grass catcher, unclogging the discharge chute, or crossing gravel paths, roads, or other areas.
  • Do not allow children to ride as passengers on ride-on mowers.


Jellyfish or Portuguese Man-of-War Reactions The jellyfish and Portuguese man-of-war have long, stinging tentacles. They produce lines of redness and burning pain. Sometimes they cause generalized symptoms, such as weakness, chills, fever, or vomiting. First Aid:
  • Scrape off any stinging tentacles with the edge of a credit card or knife. Don’t scrub the area because that can trigger the stingers.
  • Neutralize the venom with a continuous application of vinegar for 30 minutes.
  • Apply 1% hydrocortisone cream (no prescription needed) four times a day for a few days to reduce itching. Call your child’s health care provider immediately if:
  • Any generalized symptoms, such as weakness, chills, fever, or vomiting, have developed. Venomous Fish Reactions Venomous fish–such as the stingray, stonefish, and scorpion fish–always cause pain and redness in the area that was stung. They also often cause weakness, sweating, fever, vomiting, muscle cramps, or even shock. The stingray has one or more venomous spines on its tail. The stinging fish usually have venom in dorsal spines. First Aid: Fortunately, the venom of all these fish can be destroyed by heat.
  • Remove any particles of stingray spine left in the wound and rinse the area with sea water.
  • Soak the affected area in pleasantly hot water 110° to 114°F (43° to 45°C) for 30 minutes. Do not get the water so hot that it will burn your child. Hot water breaks down any venom from a poisonous fish or sea urchin and helps reduce the pain. Call your child’s health care provider immediately if:
  • Any generalized symptoms have developed.
  • The skin is split open after a stingray sting and may need stitches.
  • The barb or spine needs to be removed. Cuts or Lacerations From Fish Some fish–for example, moray eels, sharks, barracudas–cause a bite mark without injecting any venom. First Aid: Wash the area with sea water. Later, wash with soap and water. Call your child’s health care provider immediately if:
  • Bleeding won’t stop after 10 minutes of direct pressure.
  • The skin is split open and may need stitches.
  • A puncture wound is present. Stings (Such as Sea Urchins, Sea Anemones, Coral) Sea anemones (sea nettle) or coral can cause swelling and pain in the area that was touched for 24 to 48 hours. A sea urchin can cause pain if part of a venomous spine breaks off in the skin. If not removed, it may dissolve or cause a persistent tender lump (a foreign-body reaction). First Aid:
Also, neutralize the venom with a hot water soak (see venomous fish first aid for details). If a large fragment of a sea urchin barb is in the skin, try to remove it with a sterile needle and tweezers as you would do for a sliver. Shocks (Such as Electric Eels) Your child may feel shocked, stunned, or partially paralyzed after contact with an electric eel. First Aid: Your child needs no treatment other than lying down with the feet elevated until he or she feels better. Your child will feel and act normal in 20 to 30 minutes.


With all the noise, people, and excitement, it’s easy for families to become separated at amusement parks. Lost children are commonplace at these attractions, so good parks have well-trained staff to handle young wanderers. Tell your children that, if they become separated from you, they should go to the nearest park staff member (wearing a uniform and name tag) and ask for help. If you lose sight of your child, tell a staff person and request that security officers be notified immediately. One way to make it easier to keep track of your kids is to dress them in matching shirts and hats in an unusual color or distinctive design. It’s also a good idea to attach a covered luggage tag to your child’s clothing or place it in a pocket. (The cover prevents a stranger from seeing your child’s name.) Include your name as well as your child’s and the name and number of your hotel. Some parks issue special tags for young children; ask about this when you enter the park. Don’t assume that amusement rides are safe, especially in traveling carnivals where the rides must be taken down and put up at each stop. Look for an inspection notice at the entrance to the ride. If a ride looks poorly maintained, skip it. Also avoid rides that have only one operator. There should be two—one to operate the equipment and one to make sure kids are securely fastened in. Remind your kids that they must meet the height and weight requirements of a ride and must follow all rules—keeping their hands inside the cars, for example. If you need medical assistance, most large facilities have walk-in clinics or first-aid stations. Check the map so you’ll know where to go if you need help.  


  • The playground should have safety-tested mats or loose-fill materials (shredded rubber, sand, wood chips, or bark) maintained to a depth of at least 9 inches. The protective surface should be installed at least 6 feet (more for swings and slides) in all directions from the equipment.
  • Equipment should be carefully maintained. Open “s” hooks or protruding bolt ends can be hazardous.
  • Swing seats should be made of soft materials such as rubber, plastic or canvas.
  • Make sure children cannot reach any moving parts that might pinch or trap any body part.
  • Never attach-or allow children to attach-ropes, jump ropes, leashes, or similar items to play equipment; children can strangle on these.
  • Make sure metal slides are cool to prevent children’s legs from getting burned.
  • Parents should never purchase a home trampoline or allow children to use home trampolines.
  • Parents should supervise children on play equipment to make sure they are safe.


  • Install a fence at least four-feet high around all four sides of the pool. The fence should not have openings or protrusions that a young child could use to get over, under, or through.
  • Make sure pool gates open out from the pool, and self-close and self-latch at a height children can’t reach.
  • Never leave children alone in or near the pool, even for a moment.
  • Keep rescue equipment (a shepherd’s hook – a long pole with a hook on the end – and life preserver) and a portable telephone near the pool. Choose a shepherd’s hook and other rescue equipment made of fiberglass or other materials that do not conduct electricity.
  • Avoid inflatable swimming aids such as “floaties.” They are not a substitute for approved life vests and can give children a false sense of security.
  • Children may not be developmentally ready for swim lessons until after their fourth birthday. Swim programs for children under 4 should not be seen as a way to decrease the risk of drowning.
  • Whenever infants or toddlers are in or around water, an adult should be within arm’s length, providing “touch supervision.”


  • Children should never ride skateboards or scooters in or near traffic.
  • All skateboarders and scooter-riders should wear a helmet and other protective gear; wrist guards are particularly important.
  • Communities should continue to develop skateboard parks, which are more likely to be monitored for safety than ramps and jumps constructed by children at home.
  • While in-line skating or wearing Heelys, be sure to wear appropriate protective equipment and only skate on designated paths or rinks and not on the street.


What is a sunburn? If your child spends too much time in the sun without sunscreen, the skin can burn. You’ll see the sunburn about 2 to 4 hours after your child has been out in the sun. Minor sunburn turns your child’s skin pink or red. Even after 24 hours, your child’s skin may hurt, look red, and swell. A bad sunburn may cause blisters. How can I take care of my child? For pain:
  • Give your child ibuprofen (Advil) right away. Keep giving it for 2 days.
  • Put 1% hydrocortisone cream or hand lotion on your child 3 times a day. Put it on for 2 days. This will help reduce the swelling and pain.
  • Give cool baths, or put cold, wet cloths on the burned area.
  • Have your child drink extra water. When your child drinks more water, it helps to stop fluid loss and dizziness.
  • Your child’s skin may peel in about a week. Put a cream on the skin. For broken blisters:
  • Trim off the dead skin with small scissors. First clean the scissors with rubbing alcohol.
  • Wash off the blisters and put on antibiotic ointment two times a day. Do this for 3 days. How can I help prevent sunburn?
  • Put sunscreen on your child if your child will be outdoors for more than 30 minutes.
  • Some children sunburn easily or are at risk for skin cancer, especially if they have:
  1. Red or blond hair, Blue or green eyes.
  2. Freckles, Lots of moles.
  3. Your child may need to stay out of the sun or use a sunscreen every day in the summer.
Call your child’s doctor if:
  • Your child starts to act very sick.
  • Your child has a fever.
  • The sunburn has red streaks or yellow pus
  • You have other questions or concerns.


  • Never swim alone. Even good swimmers need buddies!
  • A lifeguard (or another adult who knows about water rescue) needs to be watching children whenever they are in or near the water. Younger children should be closely supervised while in or near the water – use “touch supervision,” keeping no more than an arm’s length away.
  • Make sure your child knows never to dive into water except when permitted by an adult who knows the depth of the water and who has checked for underwater objects.
  • Never let your child swim in canals or any fast moving water.
  • Ocean swimming should only be allowed when a lifeguard is on duty.

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