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Ask the Allergist

Ask the Allergist

Can My Son Go Camping With a Wasp Allergy?

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Question
My son enjoys camping but is severely allergic to wasps. Is it okay to still go camping, if we take precautions? Can he get anaphylaxis from other insect stings, like mosquitoes?
Answer

Since your son is allergic to a Hymenoptera or bee stings, he is at risk for having an allergic reaction with future stings. This includes wasps, hornets, yellow jackets or honeybees.

Mosquito bites usually cause local reactions and rarely would cause an anaphylactic reaction.

He can continue to camp outside while taking precautions. This includes wearing long-sleeved clothing, bug spray, and having his epinephrine available. Your son should have an anaphylaxis plan with instructions on when to use epinephrine.

I would recommend that he be evaluated by an allergy specialist for skin testing to different Hymenoptera venoms. Venom allergy shots (immunotherapy) might be an option. This treatment could lower his risk of an anaphylactic reaction after a future sting.

Categories
Insect Sting/Bite Allergy
Answered by

John M. James, MD, is a board-certified allergist. He is also President of Food Allergy Consulting and Education Services, LLC. He has worked as a medical specialist in the field of allergy, asthma, and immunology for over 30 years. Dr. James received his bachelor’s degree from the University of Arkansas and his Doctor of Medicine degree from the University of Tennessee. He is board certified by the American Board of Allergy and Immunology.

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