22/09/2014 08:52 BST | Updated 20/05/2015 06:12 BST

Girl, 4, 'Poisoned By House Spider'


A four-year-old broke out into a painful rash all over her body after she was bitten by a poisonous spider at HOME.

Elle Hands' body turned crimson after she was bitten by as she played at home in Birmingham.

Her mum, Penny, 38, called emergency services when her daughter's foot ballooned and a vivid red rash spread from her leg to her stomach, then her neck.

Thankfully, Elle has now recovered, but her mum wants to warn other parents about the dangers of house spiders as experts forecast an invasion following months of wet and warm weather.

Mum-of-seven Penny told the Birmingham Mail: "They're huge. But because they come into the house from outside, there is not a lot we can do. I have six grandchildren. I don't want the same happening to them.

"I want to make parents aware that a simple spider bite can have serious consequences. I was horrified as the rash spread. It looked like she'd been severely scalded. They were just like burn marks."

Penny and partner Pete Hands first noticed something was wrong on Sunday afternoon. Elle woke up with a livid red patch on the top of her leg. But within hours, it had covered her entire body.

Elle's temperature was also rising. Penny and Pete took her to a walk-in medical centre where staff discovered an insect was to blame and prescribed a course of tablets.

But drugs did nothing to stem the rash and when it moved to Elle's neck paramedics were called.

They made her comfortable, but ruled out hospital.

Penny added: "At first we thought Elle had been bitten outside, but I've seen some very large spiders in her bedroom and wonder if one of those attacked while she was asleep."

Elle may have been attacked by the giant house spider – a common visitor to homes in autumn and often found in baths.

They can grow to five inches and possess a potent venom, but don't usually attack people.

Spider expert Professor Adam Hart said: "This year has been seemingly a good one for the invertebrates which spiders feed on, and it's quite mild out there."

But he stressed they do more good than harm, providing a free pest control service. "They often feed on the most common species, preventing a few species from becoming dominant.

"We want to encourage people to respect and learn more about their little house guests."

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