A Soddy Daisy family rushed their 8-year-old boy to the hospital after a snake bit him. Doctors gave him a dosage of anti-venom and Thursday he is recovering at home.
Thirty-four species of snakes live in Tennessee and four of them are venomous. The family wants to warn others to think twice before stepping outside, barefoot this summer.
The boy was working in the garden when the snake struck. Emergency Room doctors diagnosed it as a dry-bite, meaning no venom was injected. But it was still too close for comfort for this family.
Time is of the essence and he could have died,” said the boy’s older sister, Sydney Moore. But thankfully she knew exactly what to do when her little brother was bitten by a snake. “Got in the car, and on the way to the hospital my mom called 911. It was swollen and the two holes on the top of his foot, he cannot walk on it for a week.”
The snake was a copperhead, a common venomous snake found in Southeast Tennessee. “It was terrifying, probably one of the scariest moment of our lives.”
The family lives in a wooded area and said they are familiar with snakes in their backyard, but this was the first time anyone was ever bitten. “We find them and try to, if they are not poisonous relocate them or kill them if they are poisonous.”
Doctors said snakebites happen more often during the summer. If you or someone you are with is bitten, doctors said call 911. Move the victim away from the snake to avoid another bite and if you can safely take a picture of the snake, do so for identification.
Doctors also said most bites happen when people accidentally step on a snake, especially when barefoot. It's a lesson learned the hard way for this family. “Probably be wearing shoes. A lot of people in the south don't wear shoes outside. But our family, more than likely, will be wearing shoes when we are going in the garden and stuff like that now on.”
If a snake is venomous, it will have vertical pupils similar to cat eyes. Non-venomous snakes have round pupils. If the snake looks like it has nostrils, that is a sign to stay away, because it's venomous.
Erlanger has had a total of 52 snakebites in the past year. In 2016 they treated 30 snake bites total, and so far treated 13 patients in 2017.