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 mild soap and water.
- Apply a cool compress to the affected area for 10 minutes. Remove it for 10 minutes, then reapply it. This helps reduce pain and slow the venom's spread. This is most effective in the first two hours after a sting occurs.
- Don't consume food or liquids if you're having difficulty swallowing.
- Take an over-the-counter pain reliever as needed. You might try ibuprofen (Motrin IB, Children's Motrin, others) to help ease discomfort.
Check your or your child's immunization records to be sure a tetanus vaccine is up to date.
Scorpions tend to avoid contact. If you live in an area where scorpions are common, prevent chance meetings by doing the following:
- Remove piles of rocks or lumber from around your house and don't store firewood against the house or inside.
- Keep grass closely mowed, and prune bushes and overhanging tree branches, which can provide a path to your roof for scorpions.
- Caulk cracks, install weather stripping around doors and windows, and repair torn screens.
- Inspect and shake out gardening gloves, boots and clothing that haven't been used for a while. Always wear shoes.
- When hiking or camping, wear long sleeves and pants and check your sleeping bag for scorpions before you crawl in.
- When traveling in areas where lethal scorpions are common — especially if you're camping or staying in rustic accommodations — shake out your clothing, bedding and packages often. Sleep under a mosquito net. If you have a known allergy to insect stings, carry an epinephrine injector, such as EpiPen.
If you do find a scorpion near your home or campsite, use tongs to gently remove the scorpion away from people.
Oct. 06, 2016
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