Bites and Stings

Bites and Stings


Insect Bites and Stings

Within the UK insect bites and stings are fairly commonplace, especially during the summer months. Insect bites and stings can be caused by mosquitoes, wasps, bees, fleas, midges, ticks and bedbugs. For both infants and children these can be painful, irritating and alarming. In the majority of cases they are not dangerous and dont cause lasting problems. However, in some instances bites and stings may require treatment due to infection and may even trigger an allergic reaction that can be serious or even fatal.


  • Ensure that you put on your disposable gloves
  • Reassure the infant or child
  • Remove the cause (keep insect or make note of what it is)
  • Treat for bleeding and shock (if required)
  • Remove embedded stingers by brushing them off with a blunt edge (such as a credit card)
  • Monitor the casualty (airway and breathing)
  • Contact the emergency services (999/112) if you suspect anaphylaxis
  • Be prepared to carry out basic life support


Animal Bites

Dog baring its teeth

Animal bites are mainly caused from domesticated pets such as cats, dogs, hamsters and guinea pigs for example. These will be painful and again alarming for the infant or child, it is important that the wound is dealt with immediately to reduce the risk of infection as animal’s mouth and saliva often carry bacteria.



TREATMENT: (General)

  • Ensure the infant or child is in no further danger
  • Reassure the infant or child
  • Place on your disposable gloves
  • Treat for bleeding and shock (if required)
  • Dress the wound with a clean, dry sterile dressing
  • Seek qualified medical attention


The False Widow Spider

Sightings of Steatoda nobilis, the false widow spider, are on the rise. It is being cited as Britain’s most venomous spider, and it is spreading.┬áBut experts say the species is not usually aggressive towards humans and that being bitten is rare.

What are they?

The false widow spiders (Steatoda) form a group of species that, because of their general resemblance to the much more notorious black widow spiders (Latrodectus), can cause concern when found in Britain.

In fact, these false widow spiders and the true black widow spiders belong to the same family, the Theridiidae.

All are black or brown, rotund species up to about the size of a small finger-nail (maximum body length of adult female 15 mm).


These spiders are not usually aggressive and only tend to bite if they are accidently stepped on feel threatened or become trapped in clothing for example. The false widow spider can be recognised by the distinctive cream markings on its bulbous brown body. It also has reddis-orange legs and has a preference for dark warm places.



  • Symptoms of a bite can include a minor reaction to a feeling of numbness
  • Severe discomfort and swelling at the site of the bite
  • Burning sensations and chest pains
  • The severity of the symptoms will depend on the amount of venom that has been injected.

*** No one has ever died from a spider bite in the UK ***


  • If possible try to capture the spider so that comprehensive identification can be made
  • Wash the area of the bite thoroughly
  • Monitor the bite for redness, swelling, pain, or any signs of infection
  • Monitor the infants or child’s breathing
  • If the redness, swelling or pain does not subside, or there are signs of infection, then seek qualified medical attention immediately.