Snakebite Season Upon Us – Here’s How You Can Stay Safe

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Fall is here, and along with cooler temperatures and pumpkin spice everything, it’s also snakebite season. Venomous Copperheads are having babies and finding far more cover under an increasing number of dead leaves around our city.

According to the N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission, “Copperheads mate in the spring and fall. Females give birth to 3 to 14 (up to 20) live young during the late summer or early fall.”

If you do a lot of walking or hiking around the Charlotte region, it’s recommended that you carry a snake bite kit and/or venom extractor in your backpack or car.

The Carolina Poison Center also suggests that:

If bitten by a snake, you SHOULD:

  • Sit down and stay calm.
  • Gently wash the area with warm, soapy water.
  • Remove any jewelry or tight clothing near the bite site.
  • Keep the bitten area still, if possible, and raise it to heart level.
  • Call the Carolinas Poison Center:  1-800-222-1222.

If bitten by a snake, you SHOULD NOT:

  • Ice the area.  Icing causes additional tissue damage.
  • Make and apply a tourniquet or any tight bandage.  It’s better for the venom to flow through the body than for it to stay in one area.
  • Attempt to catch or kill the snake.

If a snakebite victim is having chest pain, difficulty breathing, face swelling, or has lost consciousness, call 911 immediately.

Call Carolinas Poison Center at 1-800-222-1222 for questions about a snake bite or for more information.

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