- Pediatric Expert Tips: Spider Bites
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Pediatric Expert Tips: Spider Bites

Spider Bites

Spider bites are rarely anything to worry about. Since most spider bites don't fully penetrate the skin, they usually cause only mild reactions. However, black widow and brown recluse spider bites are more serious.

In this video, Heather Edgley, M.D., from Children's Hospital's Emergency Department, talks about the signs and symptoms of spider bites and what to do if your child is bitten.

Signs & Symptoms

  • Tiny fang marks
  • Pain begins as a dull ache near bite then spreads to muscles
  • Pain moves to abdomen, back, chest and legs
  • Mild swelling and a blue-gray mark at the bite surrounded by lightening of skin color
  • Progressive soft tissue damage; the skin becomes dark blue and then black

What to do if you suspect child is bitten by a spider

  • Wash the area with soap and water
  • Apply an ice pack or a cool wet cloth to relieve pain and swelling

When to seek medical care right away

  • Your child has any signs of an allergic reaction
  • Your child develops any kind of rash after a bite
  • The area begins to look infected (increasing redness, pain, swelling, warmth, or pus)
  • You think the bite was from a brown recluse or black widow spider

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