Bee-ware: The Danger of Bee Stings While Cycling

Thankfully, a kind person stopped to offer help. The driver gave her a ride to a nearby doctor's office. By the time there, though it was just blocks away, the cyclist was nauseated, incoherent and ready to faint.

The doctor's office immediately called 9-1-1 because she was having a severe allergic reaction to the bee sting. This kind of reaction is life-threatening because airways may become so swollen that the person can die of suffocation.

The rider had to heal with the help of adrenaline, Benedryl and steroids. From now on, she will also have to carry an "EpiPen" (Epinephrine/Adrenalin) on all rides so she can give herself a shot to buy time if she must again seek medical help.

She was completely unaware that she was so allergic to bee stings because she had never been stung before. She also commented that she nearly did herself in because she tried to "tough it out."

More: 10 Things I Learned From Being Hit by a Car

What if You Encounter Bees?

Here are a few things to keep in mind while riding:

  • If something flies into your helmet, it's best to stop immediately and remove the creature. You may think the creature is a harmless bug until it starts to sting or bite. Once this happens, most people go into panic mode.
  • If you notice severe reactions to a sting, seek medical attention immediately.
  • Remove any remaining stinger from your skin.
  • Applying ice can provide some relief to the sting site.
  • Antihistamines (Benadryl or the like) can help with the itching.
  • Ibuprofen or acetaminophen can be used for pain relief.
  • Webmd [http://www.webmd.com/] recommends that if you haven't had a tetanus booster within the last 10 years, get a booster within a few days of the incident.
  • If you know you are allergic to stings, carry a sting kit with you that includes an EpiPen and antihistamines.

More first aid information on bee stings can be found here. Bee-ware of allergic reactions and don't try to tough it out.

More: 9 Post-Ride Recovery Rituals

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About the Author

Gale Bernhardt

Gale Bernhardt was the USA Triathlon team coach at the 2003 Pan American Games and 2004 Athens Olympics. She's worked as a World Cup coach and delivered education training for the International Triathlon Union's Sport Development Team. Thousands of athletes have had successful training and racing experiences using Gale's easy-to-follow training plans. You can find some of her training plans on Active Trainer to help you succeed.
Gale Bernhardt was the USA Triathlon team coach at the 2003 Pan American Games and 2004 Athens Olympics. She's worked as a World Cup coach and delivered education training for the International Triathlon Union's Sport Development Team. Thousands of athletes have had successful training and racing experiences using Gale's easy-to-follow training plans. You can find some of her training plans on Active Trainer to help you succeed.

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