In the wilderness, fire ants are known to be aggressive and capable of leaving several stings on an individual. Once an individual is attacked by fire ants, in most cases, it involves a large number of ants. Always take note that fire ants can sting repeatedly, thus it is important that appropriate first aid measures must be performed after an attack. Allergic reactions and infection are the possible dangers that can develop from the stings especially among individuals who have diabetes and susceptibility to allergic reactions. Majority of fire ant stings can be easily treated with basic first aid measures.
How to perform first aid for a fire ant sting
Once an individual sustained stings from fire ants, you can perform the following steps to minimize the pain and swelling as well as prevent infection.
- If an individual is being attacked by fire ants, you have to transfer the individual before treating the stings. Always remember that these are aggressive ants, thus you have to move the individual far away from the site where they attacked.
- Check for the location of the fire ant stings. These stings release histamine which causes pain, itchiness and swelling. Take note that the sites of the stings can turn red and form into blisters after a few hours.
- The sting sites must be cleaned with water and soap. You have to be thorough in cleaning the sites and all the affected body parts must be covered. One of the major complications of fire ant stings is infection. This is why it is important to clean the sites to prevent infection from developing.
- In case you are tempted to pop open the blisters, it is not a good idea. You have to leave the blisters intact. The sting sites will eventually turn into blisters and pop on their own. When cleaning, avoid popping the blisters.
- Once thoroughly cleaned, you have to apply a cold pack or ice wrapped in cloth. The ice can help ease the pain, swelling and itchiness.
- The areas in the body that have been stung must be elevated above the heart. By elevating the sting sites, it can help minimize the swelling and pain.
- Lastly, treat the fire ant stings with an antibacterial ointment or cream. This will help prevent infection from developing.
Important considerations when treating fire ant stings
If the individual sustained fire ant stings in a certain body part, instruct the individual to avoid scratching since it will only aggravate the complications. The best way to relieve the itchiness is to apply plenty of ice or cool water.
In case the individual has diabetes or susceptible to severe allergic reactions, it is best to contact a doctor or take the individual directly to the emergency department so that the advanced treatment can be provided right away.