Local hospital holds event to educate people on venomous snakes - KXXV-TV News Channel 25 - Central Texas News and Weather for Waco, Temple, Killeen |


Local hospital holds event to educate people on venomous snakes

Scott & White in Temple held an event Wednesday morning to educate the public on venomous snakes and how to stay safe as more and more snakes come out just in time for spring.

The event was part of National Poison Prevention Week. Scott & White held the demonstration at McLane Children's Hospital, showing which types of venomous snakes are most common in in Central Texas, and what people can do to avoid snake bites.

Spring brings flowers, warmer temperatures, and in Central Texas, a rise in the number of venomous snakes coming out of hibernation from the cold winter months.

"Texas is the state with the most snake bites, well, big state with a lot of people and a lot of area, so we are kind of cheating on that, but we get probably a third to a half of the snake bites annually that there are in the United States," said Dr. Ryan Morrissey, Central Texas Poison Control Medical Director.

A large percentage of the bites reported are seen in children, and now, organizations like the American Association of Poison Control Centers want to spread the word with hopes of keeping those numbers down.

Each year, roughly two dozen venomous snake bites are reported to Scott & White in Central Texas alone, and snake experts say the best thing you can do if you come across one of these venomous reptiles, is to simply walk away.

"Wear long pants, and watch where you walk," Austin Reptile Services handler Tim Cole said. "Wear shoes and just be aware of your surroundings. Be aware that they are out and active in the Spring."

Experts say that a large number of snake related accidents result in what is known as, a dry bite. That is when the bite is relatively minor and patients aren't envenomated by the snake. But when a bite does get serious, doctors say paying attention to symptom and getting help is vital in staying alive.

"Time is very important," Scott & White pediatric emergency M.D. Dominic Lucia said. "I think if there's any doubt of course call the Poison Control Center. Certainly you're just welcome to bring them in and let us start looking at them, but getting to somewhere where you can get an evaluation for not only the local symptoms but the systemic symptoms is of utmost importance."

Austin Reptile Services has launched a website dedicated to snake education, and how to avoid snake bites. ?You can visit their web site at austinreptileservice.net.

?The Poison Control Center hotline number is 1-800-222-1222.
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