Conditions + Treatments

Treatments for Spider Bites in Children

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Treatment for a brown recluse spider bite

Your child's physician will determine specific treatment for a brown recluse spider bite. Advice for home treatment includes:

  • Remain calm and reassure your child that you can help.

  • Wash the area well with soap and water.

  • Apply a cold or ice pack wrapped in a cloth, or a cold, wet washcloth to the site.

  • To protect against infection, particularly in children, apply an antibiotic lotion or cream.

  • Give acetaminophen for pain.

  • Elevate the site if the bite occurred on an arm or leg (to help prevent swelling).

  • Seek immediate emergency care for further treatment. Depending on the severity of the bite, treatment can range from administering corticosteroids and other medications to surgery of the ulcerated area. Hospitalization may be needed.

  • Prompt treatment is essential to avoid more serious complications, especially in children.

Treatment for a black widow spider bite

Your child's physician will determine specific treatment for a black widow spider bite. Advice for initial treatment includes:

  • Remain calm and reassure your child that you can help.

  • Wash the area well with soap and water.

  • Apply a cold or ice pack wrapped in a cloth, or a cold, wet washcloth to the site.

  • To protect against infection, particularly in children, apply an antibiotic lotion or cream.

  • Give acetaminophen for pain.

  • Seek immediate emergency care for further treatment. Depending on the severity of the bite, treatment may include muscle relaxants, pain relievers and other medications, and supportive care. Antivenin may be needed, although it's usually not required. Hospitalization may be needed.

  • Prompt treatment is essential to avoid more serious complications, especially in children.

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- Sandra L. Fenwick, President and CEO

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