Last weekend was a fun weekend for us, celebrating my oldest child’s 10th birthday. It was also very frightening.
We had a cookout and invited friends over. We enjoyed food on the grill, roasted marshmallows, and had a great time together. Many of the kids started bug/creature hunting. The kids had found some fun bugs, lizards and even a few garter snakes. They were having a blast being kids and exploring nature. Unfortunately, this changed very fast. One of the children found a copperhead and was bitten. Copperhead snakes are poisonous.
I found the following instructions from the Mayo Clinic on what to do in this emergency situation.
If a snake bites you
- Remain calm.
- Immobilize the bitten arm or leg, and stay as quiet as possible to keep the poison from spreading through your body.
- Remove jewelry before you start to swell.
- Position yourself, if possible, so that the bite is at or below the level of your heart.
- Cleanse the wound, but don’t flush it with water, and cover it with a clean, dry dressing.
- Apply a splint to reduce movement of the affected area, but keep it loose enough so as not to restrict blood flow.
- Don’t use a tourniquet or apply ice.
- Don’t cut the wound or attempt to remove the venom.
- Don’t drink caffeine or alcohol.
- Don’t try to capture the snake, but try to remember its color and shape so you can describe it, which will help in your treatment.
Call 911 or seek immediate medical attention, especially if the area changes color, begins to swell or is painful.
Another thing to remember is that even if the snake is caught and killed, it can still move AND can still bite. This probably freaked me out the most of the whole ordeal. This video I posted below from YouTube proves that :
NOTE: This is NOT my video. A friend sent it to me after the ordeal to show the dangers of even a dead snake.
My daughter’s friend was rushed to the hospital. We decided to not wait for an ambulance since where our house is, it would probably take 20 precious minutes at least for help to arrive. At the hospital in Athens, they are unable to treat snake bite victims so he was sent on to Egleston Children’s Hospital in Atlanta. He received the 4 vials of anti-venom and really did much better than any of us expected and he came home the next evening. We praise God for his quick healing.
How to Prevent a Snake Bite:
- Wear long pants and boots taller than the ankle.
- Avoid tall brush and deep, dark crevices.
- Make plenty of noise and vibration while walking.
- Do not approach snakes, avoid them.
- Do not expect rattlesnakes to make any noises.
Hope this post helps you be prepared and hopefully you will never find yourself in that situation. It was very frightening for all involved.