Independence, Kansas is home to a number of venomous creatures, including brown recluses, black widows, yellow sack spiders, scorpions, and a number of snakes, such as the cottonmouth, copperhead, and rattlesnake. Learn how to identify symptoms of a venomous bite and when it may be necessary to contact a pediatrician by reading this helpful overview:
Identify the Type of Bite
When your child suffers from a bite or sting, try to confirm whether the snake, insect, or spider that caused the injury is in fact venomous—there tend to be more non-venomous critters than harmful ones. A good way to determine if the bite is venomous is to watch your child closely for certain symptoms. For example, venomous bites can often cause nausea, vomiting, increased sweating, and muscle weakness, whereas non-venomous bites will usually cause redness, pain, swelling, and itching. Of course, if you witnessed the injury occur and were able to identify the animal or insect that caused it, you may know to seek medical treatment right away.
Avoid Using a Tourniquet
Once you have determined that the bite is likely from a venomous insect, spider, or snake, you can begin at-home first aid treatment until emergency medical care can be obtained. It is important not to put a tourniquet around your child’s bite, apply ice, or suction the area in an attempt to remove the poison or venom, as these measures can often cause more damage to soft tissues.
Contact a Pediatrician
Contact a pediatric physician as soon as possible so that your child can obtain medical care; venomous bites can often lead to clotting abnormalities and other life-threatening conditions. An experienced pediatrician or general pediatrics clinic will provide an anti-venom serum or injection to your child, which is most effective if administered within four hours of the bite. This medication will continue to be given until your child shows improvement in his or her systemic symptoms.
If your child has suffered a bite, sting, or other injury, pediatric physician Dr. Nan Nuessle is here to help. Call our office in Independence at (620) 330-8188 for more information on our telemedical services.