Knowing Poisonous Snakes
What should you do if you or someone you are with is bitten by a snake? If you are certain that it was a non-venomous snake, just wash the bite and surrounding area with soap and water and watch for signs of infection.
But poisonous snake bites are extremely serious and require immediate medical attention. Most sources agree on the following first-aid measures:
- Move away from the snake to prevent a second bite.
- Try to safely identify the snake.
- Keep calm and still.
- Remove any rings, jewelry, clothing or constricting items because the affected area will swell quickly.
- Keep the bitten area below heart level to reduce the flow of venom.
- Wash the bite and surrounding area with soap and water.
- Get to a hospital or medical facility immediately or call 911.
If bitten, don’t eat or drink anything (including alcoholic beverages or medicine), don’t apply ice to the area of the bite, don’t cut the bite area or apply a tourniquet, and never, ever try to suck the venom out with your mouth.
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