Dry and hot conditions are likely to cause rattlesnakes and other animals to move into where water sources are, including backyards. According to the California Poison Control System, more than 300 cases of rattlesnake bites are reported annually in California. Most rattlesnake bites occur between the months of April and October.
It is essential to be aware of your surroundings, follow precautions when outdoors and get to a hospital as soon as you can if you've been bitten.
A few tips to prevent rattlesnake bites, include;
- Wear boots and long pants when hiking to help block rattlesnake venum
- Stay away from underbrush and tall weeds while hiking
- Do not touch or disturb a snake, even if it appears dead
- Always look for concealed snakes before picking up items from the ground
- Teach children to respect snakes and to leave them alone
If you're bitten by a rattler call 9-1-1 and get immediate medical attention, as severe or even life threatening symptoms may occur within minutes after the bite. To learn more, visit www.calpoison.org
- Do not apply ice, do not use a tourniquet or constricting band, do not try to suck out the venum and do not cut or slice the bite site.
- Wash the wound with soap and water, and remove wristwatches, rings or anything constrictive and most importantly keep calm, do not run and keep the affected extremity below heart level until you can be transported to a medical facility.