Childhood Diseases

Posted by: Tania | 2012/02/15


bee sting allergy

I need your advice please. My three-year-old son has been stung by a bee twice in as many weeks, and it seems that he has an allergic reaction. He was also stung once before, two years ago, but then he had a ‘ normal’  reaction. He was stung on his palm on Saturday evening, and I gave him Texa that night and Sunday morning but by noon he was badly swollen all the way up to his elbow. He improved remarkably after his second dose of cortisone in hospital (they kept him overnight the Sunday because they were worried about the swelling not going down). The doctor said we should investigate Epipen and possibly desensitisation.
Could you please explain the options and recommend a way forward? Do you think Epipen is necessary, or should something like Phenergan/Celestamine be sufficient? I am very afraid of what could happen should there be a next time.

Expert's Reply



Although your son has been stung by bees on three occasions the surprise is that he has not shown a true allergic reaction as yet. The last severe reaction to the beesting was a typical venom reaction and not a true allergy. With beesting allergy children develop an itchy skin rash and possibly difficulty with breathing.Your son needs to be tested to see if he is becoming allergic to bees or not. This test is known as 'CAPRAST for Bee venom'. This test can be done by any pathology laboratory provided your doctor fills out a test request form. Based on the result of the test I will advise you further, so please let me know as soon as you have the result! In the meantime keep a good antihistamine syrup such as Zyrtec Syrup available for use in case your son is stung again.The dose is 5ml of this syrup once daily.

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