What To Do If A Scorpion Stings You

October 12, 2018
A vast majority of these species are non-venomous, but if you ever get stung by one, take a picture of it to show the doctor, that way he or she can provide you with the correct treatment. Likewise, it's a good idea to wash the wound and keep it positioned lower than your heart.

Don’t be fooled into thinking that scorpions only live in the desert. They’re much more common than you think. Almost anybody at some point could find themselves stung by one, so it’s a good idea to know how to react if you ever get stung by a scorpion.

Steps to Follow if You Ever Get Stung by a Scorpion

Scorpions normally hide under rocks or underground, so if you’re working in your garden, like to collect plants, flowers, or other things from the countryside, you might get stung by a scorpion. So if it happens, what do you do?

Call Your Local Poison Control Help Line

Every country has a number to call in case of getting poisoned and there is also an international emergency number, 112. It’s really important to call your the Poison Control Help Line, even if you feel fine and you’re still standing because the poison could eventually paralyze you.

If a scorpion stings you while you’re alone, make sure you tell the poison control helpline operator exactly where you are and they will organize everything if you need to go to a hospital. For example, they may tell you to call them, or they may call you, after a few minutes. If there is no response, then they’ll send an ambulance.

Take a Picture of the Scorpion

Sure, taking a selfie with an animal that’s just bitten or stung you is the last thing you’ll want to do, but you should take a picture of it at a safe distance. This step is crucial for identifying what type of scorpion has stung you. This way, the hospital can provide you with the correct anti-venom. 

Big scorpion on the ground

Not all scorpions are the same. They have different types of venoms that produce different symptoms. So, a photo will be essential for acting quickly. Remember, some species are deadly.

Pay Attention to the Symptoms

Even if you already have been checked by a doctor at the hospital,  it’s important to continue observing your symptoms once you get home. They could get worse or new ones could appear. It may be that where you live, scorpions aren’t very common and thus the doctors are not used to dealing with scorpion stings.

Wash the Area that was Stung

Once at home, wash the stung area with water and soap whenever you can. This will stop it from getting infected. Don’t even think about sucking out the venom. The medications that your doctor gives you will take care of the venom.

A lady washing her hands

Remember to follow all the instructions the doctor give you and do nothing more than just that. Remember, doctors are trained professionals who know what they are doing, so follow their advice.

Keep the Affected Area Positioned Below your Heart

This is a way to stop the poison flowing through the veins and around the body. Try to stay as still as you can, keep the affected area relaxed to prevent the venom from spreading.

You can also place ice over the affected area. This won’t just keep the inflammation down, but it may cause the venom to coagulate a little, which will make it harder to spread. It’s a way of preventing the venom from reaching other parts of your body.

Don’t Panic

Anxiety and nervousness will not help you think or act quickly, especially if you’re alone. Therefore, it’s important to remain calm as much as possible. Remember, not all scorpions are deadly, in fact, not that many are.

It’s possible that the scorpions in your area may have a venom that only causes light symptoms that don’t require or can be treated.

Although it’s not a common situation to caught up in, it’s always good to be informed and be cautious in case you ever find yourself in this predicament. If a scorpion stings you, follow this advice and most likely everything will be okay.

  • Everson, G. W. (2014). Scorpions. In Encyclopedia of Toxicology: Third Edition. https://doi.org/10.1016/B978-0-12-386454-3.00784-3
  • Shah, P. T., Ali, F., Noor-Ul-Huda, Qayyum, S., Ahmed, S., Haleem, K. S., … Khan, I. (2018). Scorpion venom: A poison or a medicine-mini review. Indian Journal of Geo-Marine Sciences.