Bites and Stings
Did you know your local poison control center has the expertise to help you prevent and treat bites and stings? No matter where you live, the best prevention is to keep the Poison Help hotline number (1-800-222-1222) programed in your phone.
The species of venomous snakes in the U.S. include copperheads, rattlesnakes, cottonmouths, and coral snakes, though not all of these species occur everywhere in the country. Most calls to poison control centers about snakes and snake bites occur between May and September. Most snakebites occur when people accidentally step on or come across a snake, frightening it and causing it to bite defensively. By practicing extra caution in snake-prone environments, many of these bites are preventable.
Moreover, not all bites from venomous snakes result in the injection of venom. This is often called a “dry bite.” By calling a poison control center for help right away, the poison experts will advise you the proper first aid for your situation.
Stings from bees, wasps, and yellow jackets can be painful. Along with a stinger, these insects may inject a venom under the skin! The result is generally a painful, itchy bump, but someone who is allergic to the venom may have a stronger, life-threatening reaction. Here are first aid tips for these stings:
There are many infectious diseases that people can get from biting or stinging insects, especially mosquitoes and ticks. According to the CDC, some of the most notable diseases include Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever and Lyme Disease from ticks, and West Nile and Zika Viruses from mosquitoes. Preventing these bites in the first place can protect you and your family from disease.
One of the best ways to prevent bites from disease-carrying insects is to apply insect repellent whenever you spend time outdoors, especially during the warmer months. Here are some tips for safely using insect repellents:
Other Biting or Stinging Creatures
Depending on where you live and the time of year, there may be other creatures to be aware of scorpions in the southwest, jellyfish along the coasts, and even a few venomous spiders. Review the educational materials provided by your local poison control center to learn more about other biting and stinging creatures in your area.