Carla Hay-Perdue, DNP, APRN, FNP, ANP-BC, NC-BC

Community Education Coordinator/ Family Nurse Practitioner at Palo Pinto General Hospital

July 7, 2022

IT IS SNAKE SEASON!  BE SAFE!

Poisonous snakes in Palo Pinto County include RATTLESNAKE, COPPERHEAD, WATER MOCCASON, AND CORAL SNAKE.

Snake season is here! That is no reason to avoid the outdoors. Enjoy nature and stay safe with top tips for a safe snake season:

  1. Do not approach, handle, move or kill snakes – most bites happen in these situations.
  2. Use the buddy system when hiking trails.
  3. Wear over the ankle boots, thick socks and loose pants when venturing off heavily used trails.
  4. Tap ahead of you with a walking stick before entering an area where you don’t see your feet. Snakes will try to avoid you if given enough warning.
  5. When possible step on rocks and logs, never over them as you may surprise a sheltering snake.
  6. Avoid walking through dense brush or blackberry thickets.
  7. Be careful when stepping over a doorstep. Snakes crawl along the edge of buildings whre they are protected on one side.
  8. If you are out at night always use a flashlight. Many snakes are active on warm nights.
  9. DO NOT try to pick up a snake, even if it is dead. A snake’s reflexes can still cause it to strike up to an hour after it dies.
  10. Give the snake the right of way. Move out of it’s way.
  11. IF bitten, stay calm. Bites can be effectively treated in the emergency room. Restrict movement. Immobilize the site and keep it below heart level to reduce the flow of venom. Remove any rings or constricting items because the affected area may swell. 

Do NOT apply a tourniquet.

Do NOT apply ICE or cold compresses to the snake bite.

Do NOT cut the bite area with a knife or razor.

Do NOT try to suck the venom out by mouth.

Do NOT give the person stimulants or pain medicine unless directed to by a physician.

Reference:

US Army. (2020). Retrieved from The dos and don’ts of snake safety | Article | The United States Army