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Dear Dr. vybe: “My Dirty Child Now Has a Spider Bite!”


Dear Dr. vybe, 


I’m embarrassed to even admit why I’m writing, but I’ll just get right to the point. I took my daughter to Linvilla Orchards and all she wanted to do was rummage through the dirt and play in the flower beds. She does it everywhere, and she loves it. I know that’s gross, but she has so much fun. The girl is bound to have a green thumb when she’s older!

But as of right now, all she has is a nasty bug bite that’s a bit concerning. Unfortunately, this ailment hasn’t deterred her from enjoying the dirt life. Before I let her get back to her favorite pastime, I want to make sure she doesn’t have something serious going on. Any advice?



Muddy Momma



Dear Muddy Momma,


It’s true that every child has a gift — I see a degree in horticulture in your kiddo’s future. But let’s talk medical advice here. Believe it or not, dirt exposure (in moderation) can be beneficial in helping children develop stronger immune systems. It’s okay to let children go barefoot and play outside in clean and safe areas.

With that being said, when animals are involved, things can get — well — messy. Farms and petting zoos can be dangerous because the environment allows for the proliferation of dangerous strains of bacteria, such as certain types of E. coli. Yikes!

So, let’s get down to the issue at hand: the mysterious spider bite. The truth is, spider bites in the Philadelphia region are very uncommon and if they do happen, it’s even less likely to be from a venomous spider. The first step is to wash the area with soap and water — try using an ice pack if the area feels irritated, too.

If there is swelling or severe pain, it’s time to visit vybe urgent care right away. These can be signs of infection or symptoms of something more serious like Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) or Lyme Disease. Keep an eye on the area of concern, and you’ll start to know if something looks abnormal or concerning. When in doubt, give us a shout!

So, Muddy Momma, your kiddo can play in the dirt all she wants, but just be mindful of the dirt you’re choosing! Backyard or well-kept park? Okay in moderation, as long as you’re adamant about cleaning her up after a day of digging. Farms or petting zoos? Steer clear.



Going to Wash My Hands Now