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It's bite and sting season, Arizona

Banner Poison Control Center is reminding Arizonans to watch out for dangerous bites and stings from now until November. 

"As soon as we start really hitting those warmer temperatures during the day is when we start to see more activity with scorpions, spiders, rattlesnakes, centipedes, all of these little biting and stinging critters," said Banner Poison Control Center Director Maureen Roland. 

Bites and stings from these animals can be especially risky for small children, Roland said. 

Banner Poison Control Center recommends staying calm if you are stung or bitten, as panicking can make the situation worse. Other recommendations include washing the affected area with soap and water, and applying a cold compress to help reduce pain and swelling.

The center recommends avoiding use of home remedies such as ice, heat, or tourniquets, as they can do more harm than good. Seek medical attention immediately if you experience symptoms such as difficulty breathing, chest pain, muscle spasms or severe swelling.

Roland said you should always call 911 in the event of a snakebite. But she said to call poison control right away for other bites and stings. The free, 24-hour service is at 1-800-222-1222.

Katherine Davis-Young is a senior field correspondent. She has produced work for NPR, New England Public Radio, Southern California Public Radio, PRI's The World, Washington Post, Reuters and more.She has a master’s degree in radio journalism from the USC Annenberg School of Journalism.She lives in central Phoenix with her husband, two daughters, and ill-behaved cat and dog. Her side-passions include photography, crosswords and hot sauce.