Snake bites in Florida is statistically rare. However there are 50 known species of snakes, however, only the 6 listed here are venomous and a danger to humans. The other 44 species (and its subspecies) are harmless and should be protected for the beneficial role they play in our ecosystems, eating insects, rodents, rabbits, and other small prey. If you are interested in all of our snakes and want to learn more then you should visit; Online Guide to Florida Snakes.
Every year there are roughly 8,000 people who are bit by venomous snakes in the world, and a rare few are actually fatal. This should not lead people including backpackers, hikers and paddle boarders to believe it isn’t something to keep in mind. In all honesty, snakes do not want to waste their venom on humans, but rather on small animals to feed on. If a bite victim is not treated quickly, the venom can be damaging and even deathly. Keep in mind that a bite from even a so-called “harmless” snake can cause infection or allergic reaction.
The most important thing that you can do it just keep on the look out. Most snake bites of human occur when the snake is startled or stepped on. If you find yourself walking through grass and you can’t really see where you are walking, kick you feet a bit to make some extra noise. This warns the snake and in most cases, they will just slither away and you’ll never see them. If unfortunately you find yourself or a friend that has been bitten here are some things that can help.
First you can always call 911 or your local emergency number immediately if someone has been bitten by a snake. You may also call the National Poison Control Center at 1-800-222-1222. The center can be called from anywhere in the United States. This national hotline number will let you talk to experts in any kind of poisoning.
Five Things You Shouldn’t Do For Snake Bites
- Don’t let the allow the victim to engage in strenuous physical activity. If necessary, carry the person to safety. Otherwise, have them hike out slowly without their pack so they are not over-exerted.
- Don’t apply a tourniquet. Restricting superficial blood flow does keep the venom from spreading, which you want to avoid. Concentrated venom will rapidly destroy cells. Allowing it to spread will dilute the toxin and reduce tissue damage.
- Don’t apply a cold pack. Cold reduces healthy circulation to the infected area. Also, some experts believe snake venom increases vulnerability to frostbite.
- Don’t apply a suction device. Removing the venom by suction was once standard procedure, but is no longer considered safe treatment. These devices generally to not remove a substantial amount of toxin and can damage sensitive tissue.
- Don’t cut across the bite marks and attempt oral suction. Because snake fangs are curved, the pocket of venom will not be where expected and will probably have already spread. Plus, many snake bites are considered “dry,” where there was no toxin released into the victim. This may also increase the risk of infection in the area by having an open wound.
Watch for any signs of shock (sweating, clammy skin, or shallow breathing), since the fear of having been bitten is often more dangerous than the bite!