CHARLOTTE, N.C. - A mother is putting out a warning for other parents after her two-year-old son was hospitalized because of a black widow spider bite.
Erin Walker, who lives in High Point with her husband Lucas and their three children, says her middle son was the one who noticed it: a black widow spider in the pool with two-year-old Beckett.
“Nobody was crying or saying anything about pain,” Erin said. “I still checked them all over you know, from head to toe.”
She says she didn’t see any bites, so she pulled the boys inside and didn’t think much of it—until an hour later.
“[Beckett] started complaining about his stomach hurting him,” she recalled.
Lucas got the phone call as they rushed to the hospital.
“I could hear him crying in the background,” he said. “It was a serious cry. He was just in so much pain. It's heartbreaking to see your little one suffering like that.”
Doctors later confirmed the spider did bite Beckett, but neither the symptoms nor the bite itself showed up right away.
Erin took to social media to warn other parents of what she learned the hard way.
“Any regular parent wouldn't really think after an hour and a half after being bitten that any symptoms would show up,” she said.
N.C. experts say the spider is more common than you might think, and the Southern Black Widow can be found all across Tennessee according to state officials and University of Tennessee researchers.
“They're actually really common in the area, and they're pretty standard pest that we would deal with on a day-to-day basis,” said Ryan Dunn of Triangle Pest Control Charlotte. “In fact, it would be surprising if you went into any crawlspace or garage and you didn’t find at least one or two black widows.”
He says small children and seniors are particularly susceptible to the black widows’ venom, which is said to be 15x more venomous than a rattlesnakes.
“If there's anywhere that you're not using a whole lot on a regular basis, or kind of a dark area, it's definitely something to look for and just be aware they can be there,” Dunn said.
Beckett was back home Thursday and is making a full recovery.
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