"Kids Grow With Us" 
387 Columbus Ave. Ext. Pittsfield, MA 01201 413-443-9629
Board Certified General & Behavioral Developmental Pediatrician

JULIE BROWN, C-PNP  Certified Pediatric Nurse Practitioner

Insect Bites and Bee Sting

How are insect bites and stings difference? - When an insect bites you, it uses its mouth parts. When an insect stings you, it uses a special "stinger" on the back of its body. biting insects can transfer blood from other people and animals they've bitten to you. That means they can infect you with the diseases their other victims have. Mosquitoes, for example, can carry a few infections. and certain types of ticks can infect you with venom that can irritate your skin. Plus, insect stings can be deadly to people who are severely allergic to the insect venom.

Some people have a severe allergic reaction to insect stings called anaphylasis. 

Call for an ambulance if you suddenly:

  • Have trouble breathing, become hoarse, or start wheezing
  • Start to swell, especially around the face, eyelids, ears, mouth, hands, or feet
  • Develop belly cramps, nausea, vomitting, or diarrhea
  • Feel dizzy or pass out

What is a normal reaction to an insect sting? 

 Insect stings can cause the area around the sting to swell, turn red, hurt, and feel hot

To treat the pain and swelling around the area of the sting, you can:

  • Wash the area with soap and cool water
  • Keep the area clean and dry and try not to scratch it
  • Put a cold, damp washcloth on the area
  • Take or apply anti-itch medicine
  • Take a nonprescription pain medicine for the pain

What should I know about tick bites?

Ticks are found in the grass and on shrubs, and can attach to people walking by. One type of tick can spread Lyme disease. But a tick has to stay attached for a while before it can give you the infection. If you ae bitten by a tick, gently remove the tick fromyou skin, using tweezers. If you cannot remove a tick, see your doctor or nurse

What Can I Do To Reduce the Chances of Getting Bitten or Stung?

 You can:

  • Wear shoes, long-sleeved shirts, and long pants when you go outside. If you are worried about ticks, tuck your pants into your socks and wear light colors so you can spot any ticks that get on you. 
  • Wear bug spray
  • Stay inside at dawn and dusk, when mosquitoes ae most active
  • Drain areas of standing water near your home, such as wading pools and buckets. Mosquitoes breed in standing water.
  • Keep foods and drinks covered when yu are outside.
  • If you see a stinging insect, stay calm and slowly back away
  • If you live in an area that has fire ants, avoid stepping on ant mounds
  • If you find an insect nest in or near your house, call a pest-control service to get rid of the nest safely


Please Note
When your child needs care or treatment, in most cases, their best option is to make an appointment with our office. If our office is unavailable, or if it is after hours, patients can visit an urgent care center for non-life threatening injuries instead of going to the emergency room. Referrals during our normal working hours will not be granted to an urgent care center unless we deem it is necessary. 

We are introducing the MIIS (Massachusetts Immunization Information System)

The MIIS is a new statewide system to keep track of immunization records for you and your family. These records list the vaccinations (shots) you and your children get to protect against measles, chickenpox, tetanus, and other diseases. The goal is to make sure that everyone in Massachusetts is up-to-date with their shots and that your records are available when you need them – such as when your child enters school, when you need emergency medical help, or when you change healthcare providers.

How will it help me?
The MIIS: • Helps you and your family get the best care wherever you go for your healthcare. • Makes sure that you and your children don’t miss any shots or get too many. • Can print a record for you or your children when you need it – if you move, if your doctor retires, or when your child starts school or camp. What is the MIIS? • A computerized system that collects and stores basic immunization information for people who live in Massachusetts. • A secure and confidential system, as required by Massachusetts law. • A system that is available for people of all ages, not just children. 

 Why is this important? 
As you know, the schedule of shots needed to keep healthy can be very complicated. The MIIS: • Helps your healthcare provider keep track of which shots are due and when they should be given. • Keeps all your immunization records together for you, your family, and your healthcare provider. • Provides proof of vaccination for your children. • Helps prevent outbreaks of disease like measles and the flu in your community. • Keeps shot records safe during natural disasters such as flooding or hurricanes.

 How can I get more information? 
Please visit our website at www.mass.gov/dph/miis, contact the Massachusetts Immunization Program directly at 617-983-6800 or 888-658-2850, or ask your healthcare provider for more information. What information is kept in the MIIS? • A list of shots that you or your children have received as well as any that you or your children get in the future. • Information needed for safe and accurate immunization of each patient, such as: » Full name and birth date. » Gender (male or female). » Mother’s maiden name (for children). » Address and phone number. » Provider office where each shot is given.

How does this information get into the system?
Information about children is added when a child is born or when a child gets his or her first shots. • Your healthcare provider can add your records or your family’s records if they are not already in the MIIS. Who has access to my records? • The Department of Public Health (DPH) uses modern technology to make sure that all information entered into the MIIS is kept secure and confidential. • The information in the MIIS is only available to: » Healthcare providers or others ensuring appropriate immunization, as authorized by DPH. » Schools. » Local boards of health. » DPH, including the WIC program, and other state agencies or programs that provide education and outreach about vaccines to their clients. » Studies specially approved by the Commissioner of Public Health which meet strict legal safeguards. 

What if I don’t want my information shared?
You have the right to limit who can see your information. • To limit who can see your information, you need to fill out the ‘Objection or Withdrawal of Objection to Data Sharing’ form which you can get from your healthcare provider. • If you decide to limit who can see your information, your current healthcare provider will be able to see the shots they have given to you or your children, but may not be able to see your complete immunization history. • If you decide to limit who can see your information, you will not have access to all of the benefits of the MIIS, like sharing your immunization records with schools and emergency rooms, and a complete record of shots in a single place. • You can change your mind (decide to share or not share your information) at any time.