The California Poison Control System is issuing a warning to Californians after seeing a spike in rattlesnake bites. Some experts attribute the jump to more rattlesnake yearlings on trails after last year’s rain.
Yearling rattlesnakes do not always make a rattling sound, so someone can be standing next to a rattlesnake and not know it. Children need to be carefully supervised outside, especially in wooded and desert areas where snakes tend to live.
If you are bitten, here’s what you should do:
- Get immediate medical attention.
- Do not apply ice, do not use a tourniquet or constricting band, do not try to suck out the venom, and do not use any device to cut or slice the bite site.
- Keep calm, do not run
Many veterinarians now carry rattlesnake antivenin and rattlesnake vaccines for dogs and other pets that are bitten.
Contact the CPCS:
Call Poison Control at 1-800-222-1222 for questions about poison encounters. Trained pharmacists, nurses and other health providers are available to help 24 hours a day, seven days a week. The service is free and confidential and interpreters are available.