This is another post in our occasional medical series.
Each morning, when we gather for the meeting that starts the day, as well as taking the register we also have a health check. “How are you all today” is meant more literally than the normal pleasant greeting. Most mornings there is nothing more than a few minor cuts and bruises, a cold or a stomach ache, but around once a month somebody comes to school with a bad reaction to having been stung.
There are plenty of things to sting you here and you don’t need to have a bad allergic reaction to feel the pain. Scorpions are the worst. A sting from certain types of scorpion can leave you in excruciating pain for 24 hours. We also have many types of wasp and bee. The African Honey bee is known for it’s aggressive behavior and there is a real danger of being stung many times, a big problem for people with a bad reaction to bee stings. Of the many types of wasp one of the worst is a tiny little wasp that causes a very painful sting, though the pain tends to only last around 30 minutes.
Young children are particularly prone to stings. Once stung twice shy though and most learn fairly quickly to check under stones and rocks for scorpions before you pick them up or to stay well clear of wasp and bee nests.
We don’t know what stung this boy. He had been stung the night before and was no longer in any pain, suggesting it was a bee or wasp. The face is a very sensitive area and it is not uncommon for children to turn up with a swollen eye, though not often as severe as this case where one eye was swollen completely shut and he could only just see out of the other eye. With the resilience of the very young he didn’t seem very bothered by not being able to see all that well and played happily all day without incident.