August 2015

Bug bites, Anaphylaxis and the Importance of EpiPens

Warm weather means more times spent outdoors. Going to the beach, hiking in the woods, playing sports – these are all great summer pastimes.

However, being outdoors leads to increased exposure to insects, and insect bites. For most of us, these are just minor annoyances. For others, these can lead to anaphylactic shock which is a life-threatening situation. Some of the symptoms to watch out for are chest pain, face or mouth swelling, difficulty swallowing and difficulty breathing. If any of these occur, call 911 immediately. Some people know they are allergic to certain bug bites and carry EpiPens with them. If so, the use of the EpiPen can greatly reduce the person’s symptoms until EMS arrives.

The best way to avoid any problems is to take precautions against bug bites. If you know you will be outdoors, refrain from using any scented products such as perfumes, body sprays, scented shampoos and shower gels. Use bug spray and wear protective clothing, and avoid drinking sweet beverages, which will surely attract insects. If you come across any hives or nests, do not go near them. Many times, if you leave them alone, they’ll leave you alone.

So enjoy these warm, sunny days by taking preventative measures to avoid insect bites. It’s easy to do, and will ensure your time spent outdoors is full of uninterrupted fun.

The Scotch Plains Rescue Squad is a volunteer organization of Neighbors Helping Neighbors. With more than 90 volunteers, the squad answers calls not only in Scotch Plains but in surrounding towns as well when needed.

Email or call 908-322-2103 for non-emergencies.