Bites from black widow spiders seem to be making the news all across the country this summer. These deadly spiders are clearly out and about this summer, and we need to be vigilant about finding spiders in our homes before they get stuck in someone’s pant leg and then bite them, causing a horrible wound that will almost certainly spell a visit to the emergency room in the near future. One little girl received a nasty bite from a black widow just last week that was so bad it made her parents decide to issue a warning to other parents about the danger of these spiders in national newspapers such as Newsweek and The Washington Post. Parents look out for your children and be on the watch for any strange-looking bruises they may develop this summer.  It may be more than just a simple bruise.

19112277 - spider, red-back underside, characteristic red bottle shaped mark

5-year-old Kailyn Donovan didn’t actually notice or feel anything when the spider first bit her. The bite itself didn’t even cause any alarm at first because it looked like any other bruise a child gets on the playground. Her family just thought the small bite on her leg was just a regular bug bite. However, that small purple bruise grew much bigger, becoming a long, black stripe on the back of her knee. It was when Kailyn came down with a fever that her parents started to get worried about this supposed bug bite.  Even so, her father still thought that her bug bite just happened to appear when she also caught a cold that was currently giving her the fever.  They did not imagine that it was a spider bite until much later.

After taking Kailyn to a pediatrician, who then directed them to take her to the emergency room, her parents were told by doctors at the UMass Memorial Medical Center that it was a spider bite and gave them some antibiotics to give her. When the black stripe still did not go away, the parents turned to an infectious disease specialist at UMASS Memorial Medical Center. That is when the ball dropped and Kailyn’s parents found out that the spider bite had come from a black widow spider. Kailyn is thankfully now on the mend, but her parents are warning other parents to be vigilant. “If you think it’s something, just keep looking for an answer,” Donovan said in a video interview. “I kind of had a feeling it was pretty bad, and I just kept pushing to have it checked out.”

Have you ever gotten bit or known anyone who has been bitten by a black widow spider? How bad was their bite and what kind of medical care did they have to end up getting?