My Daughter Had a Allergic Reaction to a Bee Sting.

Updated on June 09, 2010
P.K. asks from Van Nuys, CA
9 answers

My 6-year-old daughter was stung by a bee on Sunday. She broke out in hives all over her body and her' throat felt lumpy'. We were told by her doctor that she had a systemic reaction and that now she would need to carry an Epi-pen with her in case she gets stung again. The severity of the situation has really started to sink in. I'm just wondering if there are other mothers out there dealing with kids with bee allergies. It seems like such a burden to need to carry an Epi-pen everywhere your child goes and have the in-charge adult or adults educated on how to use it. What do you do if your child goes on a playdate without you? How can you make sure your child is safe at camp? If any one has any experience or any strategies, I would love to hear from you. Thanks so much!

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answers from Los Angeles on

Hi P.,
I am a PE teacher during the year and a Jr. Lifeguard Instructor during the summer and work with children all day. Needless to say, there are bee's in my environment all the time! I would welcome ANY parent to give me and Epi-pen and show me how to use it in case of an emergency! I would NEVER consider it a burden but rather a safety precaution for your beautiful daughter who is my responsibility while under my supervision! It's great that you found out about this allergy now and that you can take measures to prevent it from becoming a hazard. Good Luck :)

4 moms found this helpful


answers from Los Angeles on

It is kind of a pain, and one more thing to think about, but it is an extremely important thing to think about.

Both of my kids have nut allergies and my advice to you would be to make sure you have the pediatrician write you for 3-4 Epi-pens. You will need one to stay at school, one at Grandma's/sitter's (if she's there a lot), one for your purse, etc. They aren't cheap, so make sure when you pick them up from the pharmacy, that the expiration date is at least a year out (we got a batch once that expired in six months-grrrrr). The other thing is that unless you live somewhere where the weather is cool year-round, you should not keep them in the car. The instructions say they should be stored at 77 deg (room temp), with occasional excursions to 55-85 degrees. You want to make sure the Epi-pen is going to work as needed if you do need it. You may also want to think about a medic alert bracelet--they make some really cute ones for girls now.

My other thought is that if your DD is going on a playdate, you should send the Epi-pen with her. Give the other mom a brief explanation and show her how to use it. If that other mom is responsible enough to watch your child, she is responsible enough to use an Epi-pen. Your daughter is old enough to learn how to use it as well--hopefully she will never need to use it, but just in case she needs to...

Good luck--hopefully this is a one time thing and you never have to actually follow-through! We've never had to use ours--yet--and hopefully we never will...

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Portland on

My granddaughter has an epi-pen because she's allergic to peanuts. Fortunately she's not had a reaction to peanuts but still she needs to have the epi-pen. It was scary at first. It was difficult to convince the insurance company that we needed several pens but they did eventually provide them and have continued to do so over the years.

Her mother has left a pen with the school, with her day care provider, and with me. She sends one with her to camp. My granddaughter now knows how to use the pen, also. At 6 your daughter could also learn. Her mother carries hers in her purse along with an assortment of other medications needed for her family. My granddaughter also has asthma and that requires a rescue inhaler at all those places also.

The school will know what to do with the epi-pen. 8 children in my daughter's school has an epi-pen in the office. Anyone that is a professional and deals with children will not be concerned. Having an epi-pen is a fact of life now a days.

My daughter does not send an epi-pen with her daughter on play dates. She does tell the mother that she is allergic to peanuts and that she has asthma and if the play date if for overnight sends the rescue inhaler. she gives the mother both her phone numbers and mine to use in case of an asthma attack. A couple of times mothers have called because Monet started wheezing. One of us took our inhaler to her.

It feels so serious at the beginning but gradually you'll get used to it and giving the other adult information and the epi-pen will be routine.

You're now facing the worst case scenerio. But keep in mind that the worst case is not apt to happen. She may get stung by a bee and have a reaction but it's most likely that the reaction will not be life threatening. Yes, it can be life threatening but it also doesn't have to be. If you can keep that balance in mind it will help.

It's helped me to have dealt with many emergency situations as a professional to see how seldom the worst case scenerio happens. It's also helped me to have had the experience of having an anaphylactic shock reaction to a bee sting when I was in high school. Back then, they didn't have epi-pens. I was told that I could die with another bee sting and that I should head for the nearest hospital anytime I was stung without waiting to see if I had a reaction. I didn't have another bee sting until I was in my 40's. I did not have a reaction; just a bit of red swelling.

What I was told at the time of my serious reaction is that my reaction could have been caused by whatever the bee had last rested on and not by the venom its self. This could also be the case with your daughter. The bees that stung me (I was stung twice in the same day) came from a hive placed in a field.

My grandchildren who are now 6 and 9 have only been stung once. I mean one of them was stung once and one not at all. They both play outside in bare feet. Your daughter may not be stung again. You are going to help her recognize bees and she's going to stay away from them. It is good to have the epi-pen just in case but the possibility of getting stung should not take over your lives. Keep the epi-pen handy but don't worry about it. The possibility of getting stung on one play date is nearly non-existent.

And there is the possibility that even if she is stung again that she won't have the same reaction but I wouldn't trust that. The odds that she will have a strong reaction is higher. And if she's in the city and the person she's with knows of her history they can get her to the hospital pronto. But again, we're talking worst case scenerio.

My philosophy is to plan for the worst case scenerio and then not dwell on it. I'm sure you're feeling scared and overwhelmed. I want to assure you that your daughter will be fine. You'll gradually get used to the situation and know when to give the other adult the epi-pen and when it's OK to just tell them she's allergic to bee stings and keep her away from bees.

I might hesitate to give the other parent the epi-pen for play dates because they will be frightened by the idea and not want to have the responsibility. At the same time I might not want to take the chance and would educate the few parents who would be willing to learn. Using it is not difficult. You have to do what you feel comfortable doing.

My granddaughter has many playdates. She knows she's allergic to peanuts and is careful about what she eats. She's never had a reaction but then as far as we know she's never eaten peanuts. This make it easier for us in deciding what to do with the epi-pen. The school, day care, her parents, and I have epi-pens. That's it. And I don't carry mine with me out of the house. I think her mother does.

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Lakeland on

At around age 4, we found out that I was severly allergic to bee stings. From that point on, my mom carried an Epi pen wherever we went. As I got older the school had one for me just in case and as a teen I carried one myself. I was taught at a young age (maybe 6/7) how to use it in case I was by myself. When your daughter goes on playdates, just show the mom/dad how to use it. It's not hard. I am a teacher now and have some students that require Epi-pens for allergies and we are given a training on it every year. I think your daughter is old enough to be taught how to use one. I was luckily only stung once more in my teens and my softball coach gave it to me. I was stung one last time at about 22 and did not have an Epi-pen, but my reaction was not so severe. I still went to the ER for fear that it could get bad and all I had was some swelling in my hand/arm. The ER doctor told me that people can outgrow a bee sting there is hope later for you daughter. Best of luck!

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Oklahoma City on

My almost 4 year old son is allergic to cows milk, eggs and nuts. we have had to carry an epi-pen for three years now and we have never had to use it. ( I pray we never do! ) But I make sure to have one in my bag I keep one in the car and I leave one with whoever he may be with without me. I show everyone how to use is before I leave. It was very scary at first but now that its been 3 years, it's not AS scary. Your daughter may be old enough that you can show her how to use it and she can show her friends or whoever she is with.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from San Diego on

Hi P.,
Yes, the thought of even needing an epi-pen can be very scary indeed. But the epi-pen is a life saver, pure and simple. Both of my boys, 13 and 16 have life threatening allergies to many nuts, including peanuts. Knowing that whomever they are with, school, friends' homes, coaches, are aware of the allergy and has the "tools" for an emergency is very comforting, for them, for me and yes, for my kids.
When they were young I mostly stayed with them on playdates with new parents and everyone knew about the allergies. As they grew, I would give, whomever they were with, a bag with Benadryl and an epi-pen and I would make sure they knew how to use both. The biggest question I would get is, " How will I know when to use it?" My response was usually something like, "You will have no doubts because it will be a serious reaction and they will be having trouble breathing..." " You will be saving a life" and so on...
Don't worry about the burden, believe me, any responsible adult will be thrilled to know they have the epi-pen and benadryl in the case of an emergency. Educate her, her teachers, your friends, family and her friends about what can happen with a bee sting and the response necessary so that you are all on the same page.

I would highly caution the grandmother who responded and has a grandchild with peaniut allergies. She must leave an epi-pen and benadryl on playdates. If the household has a jar of peanut butter in it, there is danger. People who do not live with these allergies, or people who haven't been around an allergic child much, simply don't understand the dangers.
For example, my kids knew, no jam or jelly in someone else's house. Why? Because when one makes a PB and J sandwich the peanut butter goes on first and then the jelly...knife in peanut butter, knife in jelly. Even with the most diligent people things can happen... The following occured to my son at school giving a performance. We are all waiting for the show to begin and the drama teacher finds me in the audience and tells me there is a problelm. Yup, major reaction backstage. Thank goodness we had everything on hand. Guess what? There were no peanut products anywhere during the pre-show snacking. Turns out one of the kids had a peanut butter sandwich on her way over. She decided to have some carrots and dip. Her hand, with residual peanut oil, went into the carrots, my son has a carrot and voila! It was an honest mistake, but I must tell you that the parents and teachers were beside themselves. The good news is we had everything right there, on hand, disaster diverted. Can you imagine leaving someone in a situation where they cannot help your child?
So you see, children with allergies like this, ones where they can't control their environment ALWAYS need to have meds on hand...

Last but not least, although this may seem daunting now, it will get easier, I promise.

Best of luck..

1 mom found this helpful


answers from San Diego on

have them carry the pen everywhere. get a few pens. teach her how to use it. teach others around her how to use it. it could save her life. yea, hassle for sure, but that's just the deal with allergies. it'l become second nature to everyone.



answers from Los Angeles on

I can tell you that as a camp counselor for many many years, that we need CPR training and that includes the use of an epi pen. They bring 'blanks' so we can learn how to use it safely. Also, since she's six already (not a baby/toddler), she should know how to use it so if she is away from you and has a reaction, she can either use it herself or instruct someone how to help her (it can go through clothes, jeans, pants). It would be easy to carry in a purse or in your car or even in a fanny pack or something your daughter could carry. It's not a burden if it is used even once.



answers from Reno on

Hi P.,
we have a son who is almost 8 and have had to carry the Epi-pen with us for 3 years now. We haven't had to use it yet thank goodness! I got two prescriptions for the pen, one to keep at school, and one to carry on me, I get two pens for each prescription. I educate everyone on how to use it who ever he goes with. Your pen should come with a trainer pen with no needle in it to teach everyone. I know it seems like a pain, but its necessary since you can't be with her every second of the day to do it yourself if she ever needed to use it. I don't leave one in my car, I was told to keep out of extreme heat... check you pen often to make sure that the liquid is still clear, if it turns yellow, its bad and you need a new pen. We also got my son a medical alert I.D. necklace, they come in bracelets too, and can be pricey.... we got the cheapest one and it came to about $60 with shipping, and I got all the info for it at the pharmacy. You can probably find them online and maybe cheaper than what I got mine for. Oh another thing that happened to my son was that he broke out into hives a week later (the doctor gave it another name because they weren't actually hives) and had to give him a steroid to get rid of them, took about a week.... I guess his body was still cycling out the bee toxin in his body. I was also told that each sting can be different too I think my son actually was stung by a wasp because there was no stinger, and that if stung by a bee there could be no reaction or if stung again, it could be a lot worse or less severe as the first time. Good Luck!

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