The sun is out, and so are the rattlesnakes!
Rattlesnakes aren’t generally aggressive but will strike when they feel threatened.
To help avoid or protect against a rattlesnake bite, wear sturdy leather boots and long pants when hiking and stay on trails. Most bites occur on the hands, feet and legs. If you come across a snake, leave it be – even if it appears dead. Watch for snakes when picking up logs, rocks or bales of hay. Do not put your hands where you cannot see, and keep your yard free of clutter. Keep pets on leashes and on trails.
If you get bit by a rattlesnake, take these steps:
- Call 911 or travel to the nearest medical facility.
- While waiting for medical help to arrive, move away from the snake.
- If you are wearing jewelry or tight clothing in the area of the bite, remove it.
- Remain still and calm to prevent the spread of venom
- If you can, move so that the bite is at or below the level of your heart.
- Wash the bite with soap and water.
- Use a tourniquet or apply ice
- Make incisions over the bite or attempt to remove the venom
- Drink caffeine or alcohol as it could speed up the absorption of venom
- Try to capture the snake. Do remember its color and shape as that will help guide your treatment.
Most venomous snake bites cause a burning pain within 15 to 30 minutes, which can progress to swelling and bruising at the wound and all the way up an extremity. Other symptoms include labored breathing, lightheadedness, blurred vision, nausea and weakness.
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