Black widow bites on children

There are thousands of spiders and most of them do not pose as a serious threat to children since their venom is weak or their jaws are not strong enough to pierce through the skin. On the other hand, the black widow spider is an exception. Even though the venom of the black widow is more potent than the rattlesnake, the bites are not usually life-threatening. Nevertheless, if a child is bit by a black widow spider, it is vital to seek immediate medical attention.


The black widow spider is only one of the 2 spiders along with the brown recluse spider that pose as a serious health risk. These spiders are more prevalent in the warm areas.

The black widow spider has a shiny and black appearance with the length of half an inch. The abdomen of the black widow is large and round with a mark of a red or orange hourglass shape on the underside.

Black widow bite

A bite of a black widow on a child typically resembles a target with a pale region surrounded by a red-colored ring.

Even though the bite of a black widow spider is potentially serious, they are rarely deadly. Only a small percentage of cases who sustained the bite led to death. Luckily, with advancements in the medical field, it drastically reduced the number of casualties. Children, elderly and those with high blood pressure face the highest risk for complications after a bite from a black widow spider.

What are the symptoms?

A bite of a black widow on a child resembles a target with a pale region surrounded by a red-colored ring. Just remember that these bites can cause severe muscle pain and cramping within 2 hours. The pain usually starts in the shoulders and back, abdomen as well as the thigh.

Other symptoms manifest vary from one child to another and depends on the amount of venom injected during the bite. The child can feel restless or dizzy. Other signs include sweating, swollen eyelids, difficulty breathing, vomiting, nausea, high blood pressure, weakness and even paralysis in the legs.

Treatment for a black widow bite

Once you suspect that the child was bit by a black widow spider, it is important to seek immediate medical care. You have to wash the bite site thoroughly using water and soap and apply an ice pack to minimize the swelling. You can learn more about these treatment options by enrolling in a course on first aid today.

Apply antibiotic lotions to prevent infection from developing while medications such as acetaminophen can reduce the pain. These medications should be used under the supervision of a doctor. The pain medications and muscle relaxants are oftentimes needed. In rare cases, the doctor might even apply an antivenin or the child must be hospitalized.

Preventive measures

It is important to note that black widows are not usually aggressive and will not even bite unless the child brushes up against them and disturb their web. You have to instruct the child to identify and avoid black widows in order to prevent bites.

Children should be instructed to be vigilant when exploring dark areas where black widows are common such as closets, garages, woodpiles and attics. They should also watch out for the spiders when using outdoors bathroom facilities while camping since they are the usual areas where bites occur.



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