In Gilbert, Arizona and throughout the southwestern United States scorpion stings are a painful reminder to remain watchful for this pest. Humans come in contact with this desert dweller as it seeks cool, dry spots to locate food, or nest.
For those allergic to scorpion stings, it’s necessary to have immediate treatment with prescription epinephrine, or reach emergency help quickly.
A healthy adult or child who is stung is not usually in danger.
This six step treatment that can be performed at home helps in reducing the pain, and preventing infection.
Step One: Stay Calm
Remain calm, quiet and as still as possible to prevent the poison from the scorpion sting from spreading beyond the wound site.
Step Two: Clean the Wound
Clean the wound with soap and water. A gentle soap is preferable especially for children. It’s not necessary to use alcohol or an astringent skin cleanser on the wound as this will increase the pain, and can actually slow the healing process. Rinse the skin around the wound in cool water, then as lightly as possible apply the soap, and pat the area dry with a clean towel.
Step Three: Use a Cold Compress
Apply a cold compress to the area around the scorpion sting. A compress will work best if applied with two hours of the scorpion sting. It is not necessary to hold the compress tightly on the wounded area. The ice will ease pain and slow down the venom’s spread.
Step Four: Keep the Wound Above the Heart
If possible, keep the limb the scorpion stung raised to the level of the victim’s heart. This can often be accomplished with the use of pillows or soft cushions.
Step Five: Watch for Signs of Allergic Reaction
After a sting many people will panic due to the sudden pain. This can cause trouble swallowing or breathing. If the victim of the scorpion stings is having difficulty swallowing, he or she should avoid drinking fluids or eating. If difficulty swallowing, or trouble breathing continues after the initial emotional shock of being stung the individual should be transported to a doctor or emergency medical facility as this could indicate an diagnosed allergy.
Step Six: Reducing Pain
Taking an over-the-counter pain reliever such as ibuprofen, or a child’s pain tablet for those under twelve, will help in reducing the discomfort of a scorpion sting. Pain medications containing a narcotic can suppress breathing, and should be avoided. A healthy individual will see a lessening of symptoms within a few hours.