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In Spain there are only three species of spider with potential danger to children: the black widow, the brown or corner spider and the European tarantula. The rest are treated like other minor stings.
Spiders don't really bite, use their chelicerae or jaws to bite and inoculate the venom. However, sting and bite are used interchangeably in this case. To avoid the absorption of the poison, it is always recommended to rest the affected limb and local cold.
1. The black widow: Latrodectus tredecimguttatus (female black widow). It lives in the Mediterranean basin, in warm rural areas. The bite usually goes unnoticed, but within 30-40 minutes a reddish lesion appears centered by two black or purplish dots, separated by less than 6 mm. The venom (called α-latrotoxin) can produce a clinical picture known as latrodectism, in any case rare in Spain. If it does appear, the first symptoms appear around the time of the bite (they may even appear after 15 minutes) and initially consist of sweating and agitation. During the next twelve hours they can be associated: respiratory distress, increased heart rate, chest pain, hypertension, hypersalivation, painful muscle spasms, and if the condition evolves, it could lead to coma and even death, especially in young children. Although this very serious condition is very rare, in case of suspicion of this type of bite, it is urgent to go to a hospital and maintain observation in a pediatric intensive care unit (PICU). There is an antidote but it can lead to allergic reactions, therefore it must be administered in a hospital setting.
2. The spider in the corners: Loxosceles rufescens (brown or corner spider). It also lives in the Mediterranean basin, but more domestically, not rural. Lives mostly in corners, cabinets and behind pictures. It is an elusive spider, which only bites if it feels threatened and there is no escape route (typical when putting on a garment from the closet). The bite is not very painful. Its main complication is the progressive development of blisters that give rise to an ulcer with a torpid evolution and slow healing. Its venom is not very toxic in the Spanish variant. In exceptional cases, it can lead to a clinical picture known as loxoscelism: fever, muscle aches, vomiting, diarrhea or anemia. Treatment is recommended for any other bite, with the difference that local cures at the health center and oral pain relievers are usually necessary. Corticosteroids and antihistamines have not been shown to be effective in being bitten by this type of spider. In the event of the appearance of symptoms, although the fatal evolution is exceptional, observation in a hospital with a pediatric ICU (PICU) is also recommended.
3. European tarantula: Lycosa tarantula (European tarantula): The size of those present in our country (usually on the Mediterranean coast) is smaller compared to spiders of the same species from other regions of the world. They are also elusive and not very aggressive in character. His bite is very painful and it does not present any specific characteristics. In some cases it can also evolve into a blackish scar due to the effect of its venom. Despite the fame of these spiders, for the European variant the treatment is the usual for any other bite, and no serious cases have been described, except in allergic individuals.
So in summary, there are few dangerous ones, but beware, in case of presenting symptoms beyond itching and pain, go to your health center or pediatric emergency room, and let yourself be advised by experts.
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