Toddlers and camping are not mixing as of late, as another toddler's life was cut short when a rattlesnake bite turned out to be deadly.
A family camping at Possum Kingdom Lake, outside of Ft. Worth, Texas, called the sheriff's office after the almost 2-year-old girl was bitten by a rattlesnake. She was taken 70 miles away to Ft. Worth, and later died at the hospital.
As a former Texan, mom, and snake-phobic crazy person, this is pretty much my worst nightmare come true.
In spite of my unrealistic fears and this tragic story, only two or three people die of snakebites a year in Texas. While the state is populated with deadly rattlesnakes, cottonmouths, and copperheads, this statistic was surprising to me. Only five people die of snakebites each year nationwide. Many people survive snakebites, since 7,000 to 8,000 people are bitten by venomous snakes each year.
If your family will be camping near snakes, take these precautions so you and your children can survive an attack:
Understand your risks of rattlesnakes in the area. Tall grass, debris, wooded areas are all good places for a snake to hide.
If you are bitten, remain calm. Staying calm can keep the venom from spreading rapidly. If you can get to a hospital immediately, do so. If you are in the middle of the woods but can phone help, stay put where you are so the rescue workers can find you.
Keep the bite below your heart and clean the area if you can. If you are stuck and can't call for help, suck the venom out of the bite and spit it out. Repeat for 45 minutes. (Note, only use this method if you know you won't be able to get help for hours.)
Loosely tie a tourniquet above the bite, but don't constrict. You want to slow the venom from reaching your heart, so tie the tourniquet three inches above the wound, in between the wound and your heart.
Image via "G" jewels g is for grandma/Flickr