If a scorpion stings you or your child, follow the suggestions below. Healthy adults may not need further treatment, and these tips can help keep children safe until they see a doctor:
- Clean the wound with soap and water.
- Apply cold compresses to the affected area to ease the pain and slow the venom's spread. This is most effective in the first two hours after a sting occurs.
- Keep the affected limb raised to the level of your heart.
- Try to stay calm and quiet so that the poison spreads more slowly.
- Don't consume food or liquids if you're having difficulty swallowing.
- Over-the-counter pain relievers, such as ibuprofen (Motrin IB, Chlidren's Motrin, others), can help ease discomfort. But avoid using narcotic pain medications, which can suppress breathing.
Check your or your child's immunization records to be sure a tetanus vaccine is up to date.
Jan. 23, 2014
- LoVecchio F. Scorpion stings in the United States and Mexico. http://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed July 4, 2013.
- Bawaskar HS, et al. Scorpion sting update. Journal of the Association of Physicians of India. 2012;60:46.
- Viswanathan S, et al. Scorpion sting nephropathy. Nephrology Dialysis Transplantation Plus. 2011;4:376.
- Antidote relieves scorpion stings. U.S. Food and Drug Administration. http://www.fda.gov/ForConsumers/ConsumerUpdates/ucm266515.htm. Accessed July 4, 2013.
- What to do in a medical emergency: Bites and stings. American College of Emergency Physicians Foundation. http://www.emergencycareforyou.org/EmergencyManual/WhatToDoInMedicalEmergency/Default.aspx?id=210#spider_bites_and_scorpion_stings. Accessed July 4, 2013.
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