Stay well this summer

(Published on 06/07/2018)

Bites and stings

As well as warm and relaxing days, the summer also brings wasps, bees, ants, midges and other biting and stinging invertebrates. Most insect bites and stings clear up on their own in a few hours or 2 to 3 days and you can usually treat them without seeing a GP.

Simple first aid for insect bites and stings to deal with any redness, swelling and any stinging or burning pain is:

  • remove the sting if you can see it;
  • clean the wound with soap and water;
  • apply something cold to the skin - for example a damp cloth or ice pack;
  • raise the hand, foot or leg if that’s where you have been bitten or stung.

If the bite or sting is on the face, call 111 for first aid advice because the reaction can be more severe.

You can find more information about insect bites and stings on NHS Choices at


Hayfever is very common. It affects about one in five people in the UK. Hayfever and asthma are closely linked. Pollen is a common trigger for people with asthma. There are hundreds of different types of grasses, trees and weeds in the UK with different types of pollen being released at different times of the year.

It's sometimes possible to prevent the symptoms of hayfever by taking some basic precautions, such as: wearing wraparound sunglasses to stop pollen getting in your eyes when you're outdoors; taking a shower and changing your clothes after being outdoors to remove the pollen on your body and staying indoors when the pollen count is high.

You can find more information about Hayfever on the NHS Choices website at

You can find the Pollen forecast on the Met Office website at