Scotch Plains Rescue Squad Tip of the month – Bug Bites, Anaphylaxis and the Importance of EpiPens


Warm weather means more times spent outdoors.  Going to the beach, hiking in the woods, playing sports – these are all great summer pastimes.

However, being outdoors leads to increased exposure to insects, and insect bites.  For most of us, these are just minor annoyances.  For others, these can lead to anaphylactic shock which is a life-threatening situation. Some of the symptoms to watch out for are chest pain, face or mouth swelling, difficulty swallowing and difficulty breathing. If any of these occur, call 911 immediately.  Some people know they are allergic to certain bug bites and carry EpiPens with them. If so, the use of the EpiPen can greatly reduce the person’s symptoms until EMS arrives.

The best way to avoid any problems is to take precautions against bug bites.  If you know you will be outdoors, refrain from using any scented products such as perfumes, body sprays, scented shampoos and shower gels. Use bug spray and wear protective clothing, and avoid drinking sweet beverages, which will surely attract insects. If you come across any hives or nests, do not go near them. Many times, if you leave them alone, they’ll leave you alone.

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So enjoy these warm, sunny days by taking preventative measures to avoid insect bites.  It’s easy to do, and will ensure your time spent outdoors is full of uninterrupted fun. 

The Scotch Plains Rescue Squad is a volunteer organization of Neighbors Helping Neighbors. With over 90 volunteers, we answer calls not only in Scotch Plains but in surrounding towns as well when needed. Besides answering calls, you will see our ambulances at many special events held in town, such as Scotch Plains Day, the Memorial Day Parade, high school football games, and the summer concerts on the Village Green.  

The Squad is available to provide demonstrations for Boys and Girls Scout troops, clubs, and any other group that may be interested in what we do.  In addition, we lend out wheelchairs, crutches, canes and other assorted medical equipment free of charge. 

Please reach out to us if there is something we can do for you. Email or call (908) 322-2103 for non-emergencies.

In 2017, The Scotch Plains Rescue Squad marks its 80th year of all volunteer emergency medical services to the community of Scotch Plains and surrounding communities, a distinction that very few rescue squads in the state have reached. 

The opinions expressed herein are the writer's alone, and do not reflect the opinions of or anyone who works for is not responsible for the accuracy of any of the information supplied by the writer.

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