Snake Bites

​The United States has 120 species of snakes. Only 20 are poisonous. Almost every state has at least one species of poisonous snake. The only states that don’t are Maine, Hawaii, and Alaska. In some areas, snakes may invade playgrounds after heavy rains.

Flooding of snake burrows makes snakes look for drier ground. All snakes can bite, but snakes generally try to avoid people when they can. Although a snake bite from a poisonous snake is a serious injury, deaths from poisonous snakes are unusual. Some poisonous snakes are rattlesnakes, copperheads, coral snakes, and cottonmouth water moccasins.

What to Look For:

  • Two small puncture wounds about one-half inch apart (sometimes there may be only one fang mark)
  • Severe burning pain at the bite site
  • Rapid swelling
  • Discoloration (turns blue or red) or blood-filled blisters (may develop within 6 to 10 hours)
  • In severe cases, nausea, vomiting, sweating, trouble breathing, and weakness

First Aid Care for Snake Bites:

  • Get child and others away from the snake
  • No Tourniquet
  • No Ice
  • No Cutting
  • Remove Rings & Constrictive Items
  • Immobilize Extremity
  • Keep the child quiet and the body part still to slow the spread of venom. The bitten arm or leg should be kept at or lower than the child’s heart. This will help keep the venom from spreading in the body.
  • Call the Poison Help hotline (1-800-222-1222).
  • Call EMS or transport to Emergency Department ASAP

Source: First Aid for Families American Academy of Pediatrics