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Chapter 19: First Aid For Treating Bites & Stings


Accidents from bites and stings can happen at home, work, or even while you are traveling. It’s important to understand the various types of bites and stings and what First Aid care should be provided.

You must also learn the signs of infection from the bites and strings. 

A first aid course for bites and stings also equips you with the knowledge of which pain reliever to take or apply to the wound or the affected area on the skin. This will help you recover from the pain on time.

When treating bites & stings, you should use the best medicines or ointments available to you. This knowledge you gain when you go through a detailed course online on first aid for bites and stings.

If one experiences an allergic reaction to the bite / sting, First Aid may involve the use of an epinephrine pen (Chapter 7). Call 911 in case of emergency. 


  • Animal and human bites
  • Bee, Wasp stings
  • Insect (ant), spider and snake bites
  • Jellyfish sting
  • Scorpion bites and stings
  • Ticks
Signs and Symptoms:
  • Abdominal pain
  • Feeling generally unwell
  • Joint pain
  • Lack of appetite
  • Muscle spasms
  • Puncture marks on the skin
  • Rash, headache and fever
Common Emergency Example(s):
Animal and Human Bites:

A bite that punctures the skin can cause bleeding and lead to an infection around the affected area. Bites that do not break the skin may require minor First Aid. It’s important to understand that the reaction to a punctured bite will vary depending on the germs that were in the biter’s mouth / saliva.

If you notice that an animal is acting strangely, be sure to keep your distance. Some animals may carry rabies and require immediate medical attention, i.e., dog, cat, skunk, bat, raccoon or other wild animals.

Snake Bite:

Poisonous snakes release venom when they bite. You should always assume that a snake is poisonous if you are not able to tell from the bite mark. Symptoms of a poisonous snakebite can include: pain, swelling near the bite area, nausea, vomiting and weakness.

Stings- Bee, Wasp, Spider, Scorpion, Insect:

Unless a person is allergic to the source of the sting, a person may experience a minor reaction. Stings usually lead to itching, swelling and minor pain.

Remember some stings may be more dangerous, if the source is poisonous (i.e., scorpion, poisonous spider). In these instances a person will experience more severe symptoms such as: fever, severe pain, seizures, vomiting, breathing problems and may even stop responding.

First Aid Actions / Treatment:
  1. Assess the scene and check for your safety.
  2. Activate EMS (Call 9-1-1).
  3. Get a First Aid kit and wear personal protective equipment.
  4. If person is experiencing:
    • Animal / Human bite: apply dressings to stop any bleeding; apply ice on the bite for up to 20 minutes
    • Snake bite: don’t move the part of the body that was bitten; remove tight clothing
    • Stings: get an epi-pen if a person is allergic to the sting; for a bee sting, scrape away the stinger and poison sac with a dull edge (don’t squeeze the sac); apply ice for up to 20 minutes
    • Ticks: grab the tick with tweezers by the head or mouth (don’t twist or squeeze it), and wait for the tick to detach from the skin
    • Jellyfish sting: wash the infected area with vinegar for at least 30 seconds
  5. In all instances, clean the bite / sting area with soap and running water.
  6. If necessary for severe reactions, provide CPR. If you do not know how, give Hands-Only CPR.