The sting of a bee may cause dangerous allergic reactions in an atopic child. The symptoms vary according to the amount of venom injected, the presence of sensitivity, and the place of the sting.
A normal reaction consists of the formation of a wheal, irritation, itching, and local heat.
The reaction disappears without treatment three or four hours after the sting.
A toxic reaction is brought about by multiple bee stings which cause poisoning and not allergy. Symptoms are diarrhea, vomiting, fainting, and possibly death (although some children are known to have survived as many as a thousand bee stings).
A serum-sickness-like reaction consisting of generalized hives and inflammation in some joints may appear one or two weeks after a sting.
Anaphylactic shock, which occurs two or three minutes after the sting, may consist of a dry cough, a sense of constriction in the throat, a massive eruption of hives, a drop in blood pressure, and a constellation of other symptoms (vomiting, chills, involuntary bowel movements, confusion, collapse, and death).