SNAKEBITE ADVICE

SNAKEBITE ADVICE

When you’re out hiking or climbing, in your yard or out in the desert, Managing Editor Tami Roleff says, “Watch your step!”…
California has eight different species of rattlesnakes, seven of which are found in southern California. Rattlesnakes strike when threatened or deliberately provoked, but given room they will retreat. Most snake bites occur when a rattlesnake is handled or accidentally touched by someone walking or climbing. The majority of snakebites occur on the hands, feet and ankles. If bitten, first and foremost remain calm, and assess symptoms. If the area of the bite begins to swell and change color, the snake was probably poisonous. Keep the bitten area still. Remove any jewelry or constricting items near the affected area. Keep the area of the area of the snakebite lower than the heart and seek medical attention immediately. Do not use ice to cool the bite. Nor should you cut open the wound and try to suck out the venom or use a tourniquet. The best advice is to avoid rattlesnakes altogether. If you see one, don’t try to get closer to it or catch it.

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