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By Casey De Farria
Casey De Farria
19 Jan, 2019

Funnel Web spiders – here’s what to do if you or your child are bitten.

You may have seen in the media over the past few days that Funnel Webs are on the move – The Australian Reptile Park has “reported a big increase in the number of deadly funnel-web spiders it receives – and it says they are the largest specimens they have ever handled”

The park has issued a warning to the public after a record number of male funnel-webs were handed in during the Christmas period, general manager Tim Faulkner said.

The important thing to remember if you come across one of these hairy mini-beasts is to stay calm and know what to do in case of being bitten. It is an urban myth that funnel webs can jump, however, the aggressive males can rear up and look like they are about to launch! Watch our video below for what to do if someone is bitten.

Signs of funnel-web spider bite MAY include:

  • visible puncture wounds
  • pain at the bite site
  • swelling and redness
  • numbness in or around the mouth
  • nausea or vomiting, abdominal pain
  • excessive saliva and sweating
  • difficulty breathing
  • drowsiness
  • fast heart rate
  • muscle spasms
  • strange tongue movements

If you or your child (or another person!) are bitten, use the pressure immobilisation technique:

  • stay calm. Keep the victim calm and still – this helps to slow the flow of venom
  • call 000 – ambulance
  • apply a broad pressure bandage ASAP – start at the bottom of the limb (eg toes) and wind firmly to the top of the limb (eg hip) – watch our video below for a demonstration
  • once the bandage is applied, splint the limb to stop movement
  • be prepared to do CPR if necessary

Make sure you make it a priority to book into a paediatric First Aid class this year!

To learn more, watch our video below on the first aid for Funnel Web spider bites:

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