Two-year-old Kiley Cook is a typical little girl, full of energy and smiles. Just last month Kiley was in the hospital with a blackened hand and her fingers, hand, and arm were all swollen. The cause was not from another kid or a wasp sting. No, it was far worse. She had been bitten.
She was bitten by a copperhead snake on the playground at her daycare center in Granbury, Texas, according to WFAA.
Daycare officials told reporters that they always scan the playground for snakes and have never had an incident like this in the entire 18 years they’ve been open. They assured reporters that they will take extra steps, including the installation of a mesh fence, to keep snakes off the property.
The University of Florida Department of Wildlife Ecology & Conservation reports that about 7,000 people are bitten by venomous snakes each year, and about five of those bites prove to be fatal.
If you are headed out to the woods for a camping trip, are planning a wilderness hike or live in an area native to these slithering reptiles, use extra caution as you wander around this summer.
If you or someone you are with is bitten by a snake, there are a few things you can do to reduce your odds of serious side effects from the venom, according to the Mayo Clinic.
– Stay calm and still. If you start to panic and move around, your heart rate will increase, and the venom can move through your blood faster.
– Remove rings and other items near the bite wound that could be problematic if the affected limb swells.
– Cover the wound with a loose bandage.
– Do not drink caffeine or alcohol, which can speed up your metabolism and cause you to absorb the venom more quickly.
– Get help as quickly as possible. The only cure for venomous snakebite is an anti-venom.
If you’re out on the trail, Backpacker recommends immobilizing the wounded limb with a splint. Someone should carry or support the injured person if possible.
A few words of warning: Do not apply ice or a tourniquet to the wound. You should also avoid cutting into the wound or trying to suck the venom out with your mouth.
While the majority of snake bites are not fatal, it’s best to use caution when walking in the woods or other areas where snakes are commonly present. Back away from the snake. Do not pick it up or attempt to move it.