As temperatures begin to warm and summer approaches there are many concerns to be aware of when sending your kids outdoors to play. One threat that is more common in some areas than others is the potential to come in contact with venomous snakes. We live in a rural area and have an abundance of all kinds of snakes! They are definitely not my favorite creature! This Simple Guide To Snake Safety is a great resource that will help you teach your children about how to react if they come across a snake, as well as how to recognize snakes that are venomous.
Simple Guide to Snake Safety
Not All Snakes Are Venomous: In fact, there are only 4 VENOMOUS SNAKES IN THE UNITED STATES. The majority of snakes you see are not venomous, but you do need to be aware of those that are. The 4 venomous snakes in the United States are: Copperheads, Rattlesnakes, Coral Snakes and Cottonmouths (also known as Water Moccasin).
Know The Signs A Snake Is Venomous: There are a handful of basic things that will help you recognize which snakes are venomous. While these are a great way to protect yourself, they are not always guaranteed as some snakes disguise themselves for protection. The best bet is to avoid snakes if you are not sure and never pick up a snake that you are unclear about (they don’t have to tell me twice!).
- A snake with a triangular head is typically poisonous.
- Some venomous snakes have bright colors like the coral snake. While not all are poisonous, it is best to avoid unless you are able to clearly identify otherwise.
- Rattling sounds are most commonly noted with the rattlesnake, thus its name.
- Venomous snakes will swim with their entire body on top of the water.
- Their eyes typically have a more vertical pupil instead of a round pupil.
- Most venomous snakes tails will have a single row of scales on the underside.
Wear Appropriate Clothing for Safety: If you will be walking in dense brush, areas near water or other conditions that could potentially be a bed or home for a snake, make sure to wear appropriate clothing. While higher summer temperatures may warrant shorts, hiking in pants and proper leather boots is the best way to protect your legs from bites should you walk upon a snake nest.
Always Stay Alert and Aware of What Is Around You: Watch where you step and what branches you grab for support. Very simply be aware of your surroundings and know if you are in a potential area to spot snakes. Keep an eye out for odd branches, things moving across the road and where you are placing your feet.
Avoid Sudden Movements: If you come across as a snake avoid the urge to bolt and run. Smooth and steady movements won’t startle them and cause them to lash out in protection.
Leave Snakes Alone: It may seem obvious, but it bears repeating. If you come across snakes simply leave them alone. Don’t taunt them. Don’t attempt to catch them or pick them up. Let them go their way and you go yours. If they are in your home or another area where removal is imperative, seek help to properly remove them safely or kill them.