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Spider Bites

Facts about spider bites:

Most of the 20,000 species of spiders found in the United States are poisonous, but their fangs are too short or too fragile to break through human skin. The bites of most spiders cause only minor, local reactions, although a deadly reaction can occur.

In the United States, the two spiders that can cause serious problems are the black widow and the brown recluse spiders (sometimes called the violin spider). Both of these spiders are found in warm climates. If it is possible to kill or capture the spider without further harm to yourself or your child, it is important to do so. Place the spider in a glass jar or plastic container so it can be positively identified.

What is a brown recluse spider?

The brown recluse spider, or violin spider, is about 1 inch long and has a violin shaped mark on its upper back. It is often found in warm, dry climates and prefers to stay in undisturbed areas such as basements, closets, and attics. It is not an aggressive spider, but will attack if trapped or held against the skin. No deaths have been reported in the US from a brown recluse bite.

What are the symptoms of a brown recluse spider bite?

Venom from the brown recluse spider usually causes local tissue damage. The following are the most common symptoms of a bite from a brown recluse spider bite. However, each child may experience symptoms differently. Symptoms may include:

These symptoms may resemble other conditions or medical problems. Always consult your child's physician for a diagnosis.

Treatment for a brown recluse spider bite:

Specific treatment for a brown recluse spider bite will be determined by your child's physician. Treatment may include:

What is a black widow spider?

A black widow spider is a small, shiny black button-shaped spider with a red hourglass mark on its abdomen and that prefers warm climates. Widow spider bites release a toxin that can cause damage to the nervous system, thus, emergency medical treatment is necessary.

What are the symptoms of a black widow spider bite?

The following are the most common symptoms of a black widow spider bite. However, each child may experience symptoms differently. Symptoms may include:

These symptoms may resemble other conditions or medical problems. Always consult your child's physician for a diagnosis.

Treatment for a black widow spider bite:

Specific treatment for a black widow spider bite will be determined by your child's physician. Treatment may include:

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