This week’s warmer weather could result in a rise in snake and spider activity in the Hunter region.
A10-year-old boy suffered a suspected spider bite at a remote property at Stewarts Brook in the Upper Hunter on Tuesday.
The boy was playing in the bush when he brushed the spider off his arm, possibly biting him in the process.
The Westpac Rescue Helicopter airlifted the boy to John Hunter Hospital where he was monitored by hospital staff.
In the event of a snake or spider bite, people should call Triple Zero (000) and ask for an ambulance.
NSW Ambulance Inspector John Brotherhood said first aid for snake and spider bites varied depending on the species and included:
For snakes and funnel web spiders
- If the bite is on a limb, apply a pressure immobilisation bandage. The bandage should not cut off the circulation;
- If the bite is not on a limb, apply direct, firm pressure to the bite site with your hands. Keep the patient still and discourage them from walking around; and
- Never cut or excise the wound. Do not attempt to suck out the venom and don’t apply a tourniquet.
For spiders (eg redbacks, white-tails, trapdoors)
- Apply an ice pack or cold compress to relieve the pain; and
- If severe symptoms develop, seek medical aid; and
- In the case of small children involved in a suspected redback spider bite, medical aid should be sought, irrespective of whether symptoms manifest.
Inspector Brotherhood said NSW Ambulance paramedics attend many cases where it did not always transpire that patients had been bitten by a poisonous snake or spider, however it is better to call Triple Zero (000) for assistance to be on the safe side.
The Cessnock District Rescue Squad attends 200 to 300 callouts for snake removal each summer.
If you see a snake on your property, do not approach it – call the rescue squad on 4991 2444 and monitor the snake’s location until the rescue squad arrives.