Two-year-old Kiley Cook was running around the playground at her day care center in Grandbury, Texas when the unthinkable happened. She was bitten by a copperhead snake and rushed to the hospital. Her hand turned black as her fingers, hand and arm became swollen.
Day care officials told reporters that they always scan the playground for snakes before letting the children play. The day care have never experienced an incident like this one in the 18 years that they’ve been open. After Kiley was bitten, day care workers assured reporters that they will take extra steps to keep children safe. They plan to install a mesh fence to keep snakes off of the property.
The two-year-old recovered from the snake bite, but the incident brings awareness about the possibility of a snake bite and the importance of taking precautions.
Snake Bites In The United States
According to the University of Florida Department of Wildlife Ecology and Conservation, around 7,000-8,000 people are bitten by a venomous snake in the United States each year. Although rare, you may become an unsuspecting victim on a camping trip or a hike through the woods. If you or someone you are with is bitten by a snake, there are several ways you can reduce your chances of developing serious side effects from the venom:
- Stay still and stay calm. Panicking will cause your heart rate to increase, allowing the venom to move through your blood more quickly.
- Remove any rings or other items near the bite that could cause a problem if the area swells.
- Cover the wound with a loose bandage.
- Do not drink caffeine or alcohol if you’ve been bitten. This can cause your metabolism to speed up and you will absorb the venom more quickly.
- Get help as soon as possible. The only cure for a venomous snakebite is anti-venom.
How To Keep Your Backyard Snake-Free
Actively making an effort to keep snakes off of your property can help keep you and your children safe from deadly snake bites. Here’s how:
- Learn more about the snakes in your area – Do some research and figure out what types of snakes you’re most likely willing to come across. Know what they look like and learn about their habits, like where they prefer to hide.
- Keep your yard free of clutter – Clutter provides a warm, dark place for snakes to hide. To keep snakes out of your yard, get rid of piles of leaves, stacks of firewood and piles of cut grass.
- Get rid of any pest problems – If you have a problem with mice or large insects, your odds of having a snake problem will increase. Try setting traps or using a repellent.
- Patch holes – If you’ve seen snakes in your yard, locate and repair any holes in your foundation, garage or screen doors to help keep them out of your house. Even holes as small as a quarter are large enough for some snakes to squeeze through.
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