The monsoons bring floods and water logging forcing snakes to come out of their burrows and hide in areas where they are not normally seen or expected – behind flower pots, in the shoe cabinet, between rock crevices, plants next to your window and such. Anyone can be a victim of a snake bite, especially small children who are not aware of the potential life threatening danger snakes pose. Should you sense or spot a snake in the vicinity around, call the animal agency or fire-brigade to safely isolate the reptile.
Here are 7 things to keep in mind in case of a snake bite emergency:
- Snakes can swim in water to get to higher ground, so stay away from a snake and one should not touch it, especially in the water. Avoid places which snakes frequent – rocky crevices and corners, tall grass, swamps, marshes and bushes and deep holes in the ground.
- Watch where you sit outdoors.
- Always carry a flashlight if stepping out in the dark
- Always carry an anti-venom medical emergency kit for any outdoor activity.
- A snake bite may seem like another insect bite but watch out for a pair of puncture wounds accompanied by redness, severe pain at the site of the bite, swelling, nausea and vomiting, laboured breathing, disturbed vision, and increased sweating and salivation, numbness and tingling sensation in the face and limbs.
- If someone is bitten, try and find out the color and shape of the snake, which are vital inputs while treating the venom.
- In case of a snake bite, avoid all forms of heroic bravado of slashing the wound and sucking the venom out but instead call in medical emergency and administer basic first aid which is asking the victim to remain still and calm to prevent rapid spread of venom with the bite positioned below the level of the heart, and covering the bite with a clean dry dressing and avoid applying any medicine, ice, water or tourniquet on the wound.