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Wasps sting children playing in canyon

A small group of children exploring La Jolla Summit canyon in the Mt. Soledad area were attacked by wasps and stung repeatedly Tuesday, Nov. 25, just before dusk after accidentally stumbling upon, and disturbing, their hive.

A couple of children who were stung the most had to be taken to Rady Children’s and Scripps hospitals for treatment of their non-life threatening injuries.

“He’s OK,” said Stina Lake about her 6-year-old son who she said was stung 50-plus times. “He’s a bit tired and a little bit groggy from the Benadryl, the Motrin and the steroids they gave him at the hospital.”

At first, Lake said, they suspected the insects might be African bees, but the hospital identified the insects as meat wasps.

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Lake said her son and a few friends were playing in the canyon when they happened upon the insects.

“My daughter claims she moved a stick to shake a plastic box or something,” which caused the insects to come out in a swarm, she said.

A parent of another child who was stung seven times described the incident.

“The bees or whatever crawled all over their heads and necks and down their backs,” she said. “They were pulling stingers out by the dozen off of a 9-year-old boy. Luckily, none of the kids were allergic. They (insects) were swarming out in the open. It wasn’t like they (children) were rummaging in the bushes.”

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Lake said her 6-year-old, who weighs only 50 pounds, fell down several times while attempting to run away from the attacking insects, which is why she thought he was stung so much.

She said the children went up to a neighbor’s house after being attacked and were given the proper immediate treatment: remove the clothing and wash the children with a garden hose to remove the insects and their stingers.

After that paramedics were called to transport the two children bitten the most times to the hospital for treatment.