Safety Tips: Snakes and Snake Bites
What to do following a snake bite:
- Remain calm.
- Immediately call 911.
- Immobilize the bitten area.
- Keep affected area at or below the heart.
- Limit victim's movements.
- Remove all jewelry (i.e. rings, bracelets, watch, etc.), restrictive clothing and any constricting items before swelling occurs.
- Safely try to observe snake's identifying traits (i.e. colors, patterns and size).
- Don't use a tourniquet.
- Don't drink or apply alcohol.
- Don't cut or suck the wound.
- Don't apply ice.
- Don't attempt to kill the snake.
- Don't touch/handle a dead snake.
- Be cautious around shrubs, tall grass, and areas surrounding canals, lakes and swamps.
- Always wear protective gloves and shoes when working outdoors.
- Look before sitting stepping or reaching near or around rocks and logs.
- Avoid placing hands in areas that are hidden or concealed.
- Use caution when cleaning debris after natural disasters (i.e. hurricanes, tornadoes, floods) for displaced and frightened snakes.
Dangerous Critters in Your Backyard
Miami-Dade Fire Rescue offers a program intended for students and aimed at prevention, safety, and first aid for bites and stings from dangerous critters. A presentation may be scheduled by calling the Community Relations Bureau at 786-331-5000.
For more information on Florida snakes, download the Venomous Snakes of Florida brochure provided by the Miami-Dade Fire Rescue Department Venom Response Bureau.