PHOENIX — It was scary moments for a Valley mom when her 3-year-old daughter started convulsing after she was stung by a scorpion.
Luna Kemp said her daughter, Emma, was stung on the outside of her right hand while playing in their backyard.
“I said, ‘Did something bite you?’ and she said, ‘Yes!’ and I said, ‘Was it a scorpion?’ and she said, ‘Yes!’,” Kemp said.
Kemp said Emma was crying and screaming as Luna called poison control. As she was on the phone, she noticed Emma said the pain from the sting was traveling.
“Every part of her body she would say, ‘My arms, my belly, my legs my feet,’” Kemp said. "It was horrific."
Then Kemp said she noticed Emma wasn’t able to swallow.
“It was like all of a sudden her body was in convulsions, she couldn’t walk, she couldn’t talk, I mean it was within just a few minutes,” Kemp said.
Paramedics took Emma to the emergency room where she got the scorpion antivenom and her symptoms started to go away.
Mauren Roland, an RN and director at Banner Poison Drug and Information Center, said children 6 years old and under, especially those 3 and under, like Emma, are more likely to have a bad reaction from bark scorpions.
Bark scorpions are the most toxic in the U.S. and are found in Arizona.
“It’s a neurotoxin and it can affect basically cranial nerves,” Roland said. “The most concerning symptom would be hypersalivation. So they get a lot of saliva that is tick and can become an airway issue.”
Roland said if your little one is stung to, give them a call at (800) 222-1222 but warned parents to be on the lookout for severe symptoms.
“Hypersalivation, shaking, kind of jumpy eyes, blurry eyes, they might be just rubbing their eyes, that’s a 911 call,” Roland said.
Roland also recommends showing little kids pictures of scorpions and telling them how dangerous they are, which is something Kemp said she wishes she would have done more with her daughter.
Kemp said her daughter is mostly back to normal and is just experiencing some numbness. She said she doesn’t want others to go through what they have.
“I never imagined that it would be that bad, to the point where you are concerned that your child might die,” Kemp said.