Nearly three-quarters of mums wouldn't know what to do if their child suffered an anaphylactic shock to a wasp sting, it has been claimed.

A survey by pest control company Rentokil found that 76 per cent of mums lack the knowledge to treat their child if he or she was stung, while 66 per cent worry about the threat of wasps and wasp stings over the summer.

Of the 500 mothers surveyed, 82 per cent also said they would avoid wasp hotspots in the summer, to ensure their children weren't put at risk of stings.

Savvas Othon, spokesman for Rentokil, said: "As a parent, I understand why wasps make people nervous as they can be unpredictable. The trick is to avoid staying in areas where wasps may cluster such as around ice cream vans or rubbish bins in picnic areas.

"Wasps do get more aggressive towards the end of the summer as there are no developing larvae for them to feed and they tend to seek out just carbohydrates. It makes sense to encourage your children to be extra vigilant when eating carb-packed snacks around this time."

The Anaphylaxis Campaign said that in the event of a reaction to a sting, parents should call 999 immediately for medical help, ensure the child remains calm, lie the patient down with their feet raised to increase blood flow to the head, and to put the child in the recovery position if they're going to vomit.

Rentokil has also launched an interactive website called UKWaspWatch, which lets people log sightings of wasps across the UK.

Posted by Robert Mair on 28.7.11 Please send your comments on this article to: penny.hosie@pavpub.com