Parents save son after funnel-web spider bite

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A BOY bitten by a creature hiding in his fancy-dress costume was saved by his quick-thinking parents. Here’s what you need to know about our eight-legged friends. 13, 20182:26PM

How to stay safe from funnel web spiders

A SEVEN-YEAR-OLD boy bitten by a deadly funnel-web spider was saved by his quick-thinking parents.

Riley Schmidt, from NSW’s Southern Highlands, was trying on a Harry Potter costume last Sunday when he was bitten on the finger by a creature hiding in the outfit.

“It hurt and it felt very sharp,” he said, according to Fairfax Media.

When he showed his mother and father Kayla and Stephen he didn’t seem too upset, but they wrapped his finger in a compression bandage and called an ambulance to their home, north of Mittagong.

Kayla, who held Riley’s bandage on while Stephen caught the spider, had done first-aid training on snake and spider bites — not thinking she would need it.

When the boy arrived at Bowral and District Hospital, doctors administered anti-venom before transferring him to Randwick Children’s Hospital.

Riley’s hand had started swelling, but medics praised his parents for taking rapid and effective action, which prevented the situation from getting worse.

“It started with his fingers and then the rest of his hand started to swell,” said Kayla. “The anti-venom worked really quickly and we started to see him improve 10 or so minutes after he had it.”

There is a shortage of anti-venom this summer, so Stephen took the spider to Taronga Zoo after he caught it.

“Part of the reason we brought the spider in was because we had heard there was a shortage of anti-venom,” he said. “It was jumping around in the container and you could hear its fangs hitting the plastic.”

Funnel-web spiders are milked for venom, which is taken to labs to be made into anti-venom. They are more likely to attack in summer, as they like hot, moist weather.

This is why we love giving first aid training in Canberra. When you hear the great work by someone saving a life it makes all of the hard work worth while. 

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