Have you ever been stung or bitten while having a good time; at the beach, at the park or just out and about and about? Naturally, you do not have a remedy right there and then? Well, here in Australia there are numerous ways to deal with stings and bites from insects or snakes. In fact, it is recommended to a course on how to treat bites and stings in Australia. As you may have heard there are poisonous and dangerous insects and animals here in the land Downunder.
When we were living in Switzerland I got stung by a bee when cycling, it flew into the small openings in my bike helmet and bite me on the forehead. Fortunately, I had a friend cycling with and she took the sting out. As you can imagine, I quickly upgrade my helmet to one with a mesh lining. We don’t have the European bees in Australia but we still have plenty of animals and insects with a sting or bite.
These warning signs for snakes are quite visible when out walking in Australia. As much as it is good to be aware of the snakes, I personally don’t like to come across them. Fortunately, I know that more often than not, they have slithered away when they hear me coming.
In Australia, there are insects and snakes that bite and it is fortunately rare to see them, yet this year, snakes are on the increase and on the move. With insect and snake season beginning, it is good to have tips on how to treat bites and stings.
Here are some tips on first aid for bites and stings:
Treating an insect bite from the land.
When you are stung or bitten by a little insect and it is from the land you should treat the bite or sting with cold water. Cold water will reduce the potency of the bite and reduce the pain. This is a simple tip to treat wasp stings, bee stings, ants bites, redback spider bites and even centipedes bites.
Treating an insect or small animal bite from the sea.
If you are bitten or stung by an insect or a small animal that has come from the sea, lake or rock pool, maybe you were swimming or sunbathing by the beach, you should treat the bite with warm water. This includes blue bottle jellyfish, stingray, stonefish and starfish. The warm water helps in treating and reducing the pain.
Treating dangerous bites and stings.
If you suspect that the insect or the sting is dangerous, put a compression bandage on the bitten area. Don’t wash the area first as medical staff will need to swap the area for bite identification for effective anti venom. It is however important for you to know that there are quite a few dangerous insects and snakes in Australia, yet in most cases, they will avoid interacting with you at all costs. In other words, it is very rare to see or encounter them. But it is good to equip yourself with this tip.
On the East coast of Australia where we call home, there are brown snakes, red belly black snakes and funnel-web spiders. These are just a few of the species in the area in which we live. We know to keep the first aid for bites and stings guidelines handy.
Every 3 years I update my certificate with St Johns Ambulance at a refresher course. The knowledge shared at the first aid courses is invaluable and recommendable.
Treating an insect bit from the tropics.
If you are stung or bitten by an insect that is from the tropics, the best treatment is vinegar. Unfortunately, not all of us remember to carry it with us when going to the beach. In case you do not have vinegar with you, you should get urinated on. It might sound funny and a little disgusting but if it is the only way to treat the pain, you do not have a choice, do you? Many people will laugh this off but it is an effective way of treating a sting from the jellyfish that live in the tropics.
There are simple and creative ways to assist with the treatment of bites and stings. Just equip yourself with the right tips and you need not worry about being bitten or stung by insects as you will be prepared when bushwalking, swimming or out and about. But remember always follow safety guidelines, be aware of the symptoms and seek medical attention for bites and stings. It is also advisable to carry a first aid kit when you go bushwalking, camping or any adventures. In fact, it is also great to have a first aid kit in the car.