Rattlesnake Safety Rio Rico Medical & Fire

It is Summer in the Desert!

Sure signs of summer in the desert: hot weather, monsoons and rattlesnakes....

Arguably, snake season is year-round in Arizona, a state known for its rattlers. But baby rattlesnakes are born in August, making this month especially dangerous for hikers, gardeners, children and others at high risk of exposure to rattlesnake bites.

Arizona Poison and Drug Information Center Advises the following:

Anyone who might come cross paths with rattlesnakes need to be aware of these five things:

Baby rattlesnakes range in length from 6 to 12 inches and are easily camouflaged by brush and grass.

Baby rattlesnakes are rattleless until they first shed their skins, so there will be no infamous “chica-chica” sound before they strike.

Despite their impish size, baby snakes have enough venom to be very dangerous if they bite a human.

Adult rattlesnakes do not always rattle an audible warning before or while they are biting.

It’s a good idea to call the poison center (800-222-1222) if you notice an unidentified small cut or wound, even if you feel no pain. With the lack of telltale rattle warning, people can be bitten without knowing what has happened until they notice their symptoms and attribute them to a snakebite.

Puncture marks indicate a rattlesnake bite on the heel of a 9-year-old.

University of Arizona/

Best response to a bite is to seek medical attention right away. Medical personnel will do an examination and determine if anti-venom is needed.

Adults and children are equally at risk for developing serious illness after a snakebite. If symptoms such as dizziness, sleepiness, vomiting or trouble breathing occur immediately after the bite, call 911 to be transported to a hospital. If symptoms are limited to minor swelling and pain immediately after the bite and a nearby hospital is within easy access, emergency medical transport may not be necessary.

Don't believe the myths! Refrain from cutting into the bite area or trying to suck out venom. Even tourniquets should be avoided, specialists say. Do not apply ice to the bite area or administer your own alcohol or drugs in an attempt at first aid.

Pets are sometimes bitten by rattlesnakes. "Cats, by behavior, tend to hide out after an injury. Despite this, many survive," said Keith Boesen, director of Arizona Poison and Drug Information Center. "Although many large dogs do well with no veterinary care, it is recommended that any pet be taken to an emergency veterinary clinic if bitten," he said.

Source: James Gregg/ Arizona Daily Star 2010

Deaths due to Rattlesnake bites are extremely rare!

One of the best ways to avoid being bitten is to be aware of your surroundings!

Always watch where you step before exiting a car or before stepping outside your home.

Wear protective footwear.

Don't blindly reach into a bush or a hole in the ground in search of an errant golf ball.

Stay on marked trails when hiking.

Don't play loud music through ear buds while hiking, which could prevent you from hearing a warning rattle.

Rattlesnakes are attracted to their vital resources including food, water, and a safe place to live. Rodents should be eliminated from around your home. Start by filling all the holes that you find. If possible, you can use snap traps and live traps but using poison traps might kill the wrong animals.

Rattlesnakes do not attack humans and will leave you alone if you leave them alone.

Have a Safe DAY!

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Rio Rico Community


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