Spider Bite or Scorpion Sting in Children: Care Instructions

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Your Care Instructions

Spider

Spider bites and scorpion stings often cause minor swelling, redness, pain, and itching. These mild symptoms are common and may last from a few hours to a few days. Some people have more severe reactions.

Home treatment is often all that you need to relieve symptoms.

Follow-up care is a key part of your child's treatment and safety. Be sure to make and go to all appointments, and call your doctor or nurse call line if your child is having problems. It's also a good idea to know your child's test results and keep a list of the medicines your child takes.

How can you care for your child at home?

  • Put ice or a cold pack on the area for 10 to 20 minutes at a time. Put a thin cloth between the ice and your child's skin.
  • Try an over-the-counter medicine for itching, redness, swelling, and pain. Read and follow all instructions on the label.
    • Give your child an antihistamine, such as diphenhydramine (Benadryl) or loratadine (Claritin).
    • Put hydrocortisone cream or calamine lotion on the skin.
  • Don't let your child scratch or rub the skin around the area.

When should you call for help?

Call 911 anytime you think your child may need emergency care. For example, call if:

  • Your child passes out (loses consciousness).
  • Your child has a seizure.
  • Your child has trouble breathing.

Call your doctor or nurse call line now or seek immediate medical care if:

  • Your child has signs of infection, such as:
    • Increased pain, swelling, warmth, or redness around the bite or sting.
    • Red streaks leading from the area.
    • Pus draining from the area.
    • A fever.
  • Your child gets a blister or sore at the bite area, or the area turns purple.

Watch closely for changes in your child's health, and be sure to contact your doctor or nurse call line if:

  • Your child has pain or burning at the area after 2 days of home treatment.
  • Your child has symptoms for more than 1 week.

Where can you learn more?

Go to https://www.healthwise.net/patientEd

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