Your doctor usually needs only your history and symptoms to make a diagnosis. If you have serious symptoms, you may have blood or imaging tests to check for the effects of the venom on your liver, heart, lungs and other organs.


Most scorpion stings don't need medical treatment. But if symptoms are serious, you may need to receive care in a hospital. You may be given drugs through a vein to treat pain.

Scorpion anti-venom may be given to children to keep symptoms from happening. Adults with serious symptoms also may be given anti-venom.

Lifestyle and home remedies

If a scorpion stings your child, first contact your local poison control center. To reach this center, call Poison Help at 800-222-1222.

Based on Poison Help's advice, consider the following:

  • Clean the wound with mild soap and water.
  • Apply a cool compress to the affected area. This may ease the pain.
  • If stung on an arm or leg, rest the affected limb in a supportive position.
  • If having a hard time swallowing, limit intake to sips of water. If this symptom does not resolve or gets worse over the next hour, seek medical attention.
  • Don't take or give any medicines to make you sleep or to feel calm or less anxious.
  • Take a pain reliever available without a prescription as needed. You might try ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin IB, Children's Motrin, others) to ease pain.

If you're healthy and you're not having any serious symptoms, you may not need to be treated by a doctor. Rather, you also can follow the steps above.

Check vaccination records to be sure tetanus vaccinations are up to date for you and your child.

These tips can help keep children safe until they see a doctor.

Mayo Clinic Minute: Rattlesnakes, scorpions and other desert dangers

Ian Roth: Visiting the desert southwest can be a beautiful and wonderful experience but some dangers may be lurking. The western diamondback rattlesnake is one of the creatures visitors should be on the lookout for.

Steven Maher, M.D., Emergency Medicine, Mayo Clinic: The most important thing to do is to avoid the rattlesnake.

Mr. Roth: Dr. Steven Maher, an emergency department physician, explains what you should do if you are bitten.

Dr. Maher: Well, the most important thing is what not to do. You don't want to try and suck the venom out or try and cut the bite. The best thing to do is try and immobilize the area and seek medical treatment right away.

Mr. Roth: Another creature to look out for is the scorpion. Each person reacts differently to the sting and symptoms can vary from severe pain to blurred vision.

Dr. Maher: If you're concerned at all, talk to your local poison center. And if symptoms are severe, get help right away.

Mr. Roth: But the greatest danger is not an animal but lack of water. Stay hydrated. Dr. Maher suggests hiking early in the morning and bringing plenty of water when exploring.

Dr. Maher: If you're going to be outside, it's very important to bring water with you and a lot of it.

Mr. Roth: For the Mayo Clinic News Network, I'm Ian Roth.

Oct. 03, 2023
  1. LoVecchio F. Scorpion envenomation causing neuromuscular toxicity (United States, Mexico, Central America and Southern Africa). https://www.uptodate.com/contents/search. Accessed May 10, 2023.
  2. Klotz SA, et al. Scorpion stings and antivenom use in Arizona. American Journal of Medicine. 2021; doi:10.1016/j.amjmed.2021.01.025.
  3. Scorpions of the desert Southwest United States. Cooperative Extension. University of Arizona. https://extension.arizona.edu/ sites/extension.arizona.edu/files/pubs/az1768-2018.pdf. Accessed May 10, 2023.
  4. Amr ZS, et al. Scorpions and scorpion sting envenoming (scorpionism) in the Arab countries of the Middle East. Toxicon. 2021; doi:10.1016/j.toxicon.2020.12.017.
  5. Shamoon Z, et al. Scorpion toxicity. 2022; https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK430928/. Accessed May 10, 2023.
  6. Gibson LE (expert opinion). Mayo Clinic. May 17, 2023.
  7. Scorpion strings. Merck Manual Professional Version. https://www.merckmanuals.com/professional/injuries-poisoning/bites-and-stings/scorpion-stings. Accessed May 10, 2023.
  8. Scorpions. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health. https://www.cdc.gov/niosh/topcs/insects/scorpions.html. Accessed May 10, 2023.
  9. Scorpion stings. Society for Academic Emergency Medicine. https://www.saem.org/. Accessed May 10, 2023.