May 31, 2015

Spider Bites

Ok, so just writing this is giving me the creeps cos I have the biggest spider phobia ever. Even googling the pictures has my heart racing!

So my phobia is so bad, that I am constantly checking for spiders everywhere! If I’ve seen one in a certain spot before, for a few months I will check there whenever I walk past just to make sure it’s gone. This OCD behavior came in quite handy about a year ago, when I noticed a web (which I ALWAYS inspect) by our front door. Low and behold I saw very strange looking spiders, WITH RED MARKINGS on the belly!!! And there were these gross looking egg sacs. Trying very hard not to alarm Alexia, I called hubby to come check. He managed to get one into a jar and took it to an expert who confirmed it was a brown widow!!! Needless to say, the whole area was torched, and to this day I still check to make sure they aren’t back:/


I often have kids coming in with sores or red patches that look like bites. It’s quite difficult to say what actually did the biting if the culprit wasn’t seen. Plus, the kiddies wake up with them, so who’s to say?! Often spider bites are painless (unlike snake bites). Most are not poisonous, but allergic reactions are possible, and more importantly, infection is a risk in everyone!


When to suspect a spider bite:

Tiny fang marks

A burning or dull aching pain that starts at the wound and spreads to the surrounding muscles Muscle Pain and cramps can then involve the legs, back, chest and abdomen Blister at the bite site Mild swelling and a blue-gray mark at the bite surrounded by lightening of skin color Progressive soft tissue damage, the skin turns dark blue and then black Children may appear hyperactive or restless


If you suspect it is a poisonous spider, call emergency services Wash the wound with soapy water Wrap some ice in a clean cloth and apply to the area, this should help delay venom spread and relieve pain If you can safely catch the spider, then do so. If not, try take a photo.

Call the Poison Information Centre:

Gauteng: Unitas (toll free) 0800 111 229 Western Cape: Red Cross Children’s Hospital: 021 689 5227 Tygerberg Hospital: 021 931 6129

Kwazulu-Natal: Saint Augustine’s Hospital Durban (toll free): 0800 333 444 Orange Free State: Universities (Poison Centre): 051 401 3111