Friday, 29 July 2011

UKWaspWatch

With the summer hoildays in full swings and days out, do you know what to do if you little one got stung by a wasp and had an allergic reaction to it??




Anaphylactic reactions can range in intensity, from minor to severe. Due to this, it is advisable for parents who think their child may be suffering an anaphylactic shock to call 999 immediately and seek professional medical help.

The Anaphylaxis Campaign  advises the following steps:
·         Call 999 immediately to seek medical help
·         Keep the patient calm
·         Lay the patient down, with their feet raised to increase the blood flow to the heart
·         If there is a sign the patient will be sick, turn them onto their side into the recovery position until the ambulance arrives


Keep your kids sting free this summer with UKWaspWatch
Two-thirds of mums worry about wasps in the summer holidays

With the summer holidays upon us, Rentokil is advising parents to be more wasp aware over the coming weeks to minimise the risk of children being stung whilst out and about. The advice comes as Rentokil reports a 13% increase on wasp enquiries versus the same period last year, following the unseasonably warm weather this spring.[1] 

A new survey from Rentokil reveals that two-thirds of mums (66%) worry about the threat of wasp stings in the summer.  These can cause severe reactions and over 300,000 people in the UK suffer allergic reactions to stings. Rentokil’s research of 500 mums also shows that over three-quarters (76%) would not know how to treat anaphylactic shock if their child experienced it.

Savvas Othon, Technical Director at Rentokil Pest Control comments, “As a parent, I understand why wasps make people nervous as they can be unpredictable.  The trick is to avoid staying in areas where wasps may cluster such as around ice cream vans or rubbish bins in picnic areas. Wasps do get more aggressive towards the end of the summer as there are no developing larvae for them to feed and they tend to seek out just carbohydrates. It makes sense to encourage your children to be extra vigilant when eating carb-packed snacks around this time.”

To help parents – and the wider public- manage the risk of wasps - Rentokil’s interactive UKWaspWatch map tracks sightings of wasps to create a picture of wasp hotspots across the country. This year, Rentokil has teamed up with The Anaphylaxis Campaign (the UK charity focused on helping people living with severe allergies) and will donate 20p to the charity every time a person logs a wasp or wasps’ nest sighting onto UKWaspWatch throughout the summer.  The site also includes information on what parents should do if their child is stung.

Savvas Othon, adds, “We’re just going into the peak of the wasp season and this can be a concern when planning summer activities, particularly if children suffer from allergic reactions to stings. Our advice is that prevention is better than cure; helping children know how to reduce the risks of being stung is vital. This can be something as seemingly obvious as not disturbing a wasps’ nest as they can contain up to 5,000 wasps by the end of the summer and are incredibly dangerous if provoked. This research shows there is a real need for parents to understand more about anaphylaxis so they can treat any reactions quickly and effectively.”



Rentokil has the following top tips for parents to minimise wasp threats:
·         Encourage your child to stay calm in the presence of wasps.  The best advice is to move away slowly; waving arms or swatting wasps will increase their tendency to sting
·         Wasps are attracted to bright colours.  If you’re planning to spend time outdoors, muted or pastel shades will help prevent your child being targeted
·         Don’t walk barefoot outside and look out for wasps before sitting down
·         Wasps will make a beeline for sweet drinks and foods.  Encourage children to use lids and wrap food as soon as you’ve finished eating
·         Ensure children wipe their faces and hands after eating sweet things like lollies and ice-creams to minimize further temptation for wasps
·         Remember that insect repellents go hand in hand with sun cream in the hot weather
·         Research the difference between wasps and bees. While both are bright yellow and black striped, there are noticeable differences between the insects. For example, wasps tend to be less hairy than bees, their eyes are kidney shaped and their bodies more pointed, with a noticeable waist. Being stung by a bee is quite rare as they are much less aggressive than wasps.

Dr Shuaib Nasser, Consultant in Allergy, Addenbrookes NHS Trust Hospital, Cambridge and member of The Anaphylaxis Campaign Clinical and Scientific Advisory Panel comments,
While just 0.5% of the population suffers an acute allergic reaction to wasp stings, we always advise simple precautions to minimize any risks. If you or your children suffer a severe allergic reaction after a bee or wasp sting it is important to seek medical help immediately and then ask your GP to refer you to an Allergy Specialist.”

A high wasp presence is a real turn-off for parents, with 82% of mums stating they would actively avoid a wasp hotspot. Parents concerned about wasps can log onto UKWaspWatch to identify areas with high wasp activity when planning days out or weekends away.  You can also log any sightings together with their severity, ranging from a single wasp through to a wasps’ nest:
  • Visit www.ukwaspwatch.co.uk and log a sighting directly onto the map by following the simple instructions
  • Enter your sighting via a special Facebook application  
  • Tweet the hashtag #ukwaspwatch, your postcode and how serious the sighting is using the scale on the UKWaspWatch website.

Carrie Longton, Co-Founder, Mumsnet concludes, "Wasps can be a real anxiety for parents particularly with the added worry of an allergic reaction if a child hasn't been stung before. So it's great to read practical advice on avoiding wasps and what to do if you do get stung, hopefully leaving us free to enjoy the holidays with one less stress."

To find out more about UKWaspWatch and to raise money for The Anaphylaxis Campaign visit www.UKWaspWatch.co.uk.

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