SALADO, Texas — Just when you thought it was safe to go back in the water. Summer is almost here and the Salado Texas Volunteer Fire Department says you need to check your pool noodles for snakes.
Specifically, the fire department is talking about rattlesnakes. Firefighters warn that as temperatures are rising in Texas, snakes are looking for a place to cool off.
“It's only natural for these snakes to be looking for a cooler place to stay. Snakes will typically seek out dark spaces, so it's best to keep your pool toys elevated or in some type of sealed container,” the department warned in a Facebook post.
If you do come across a snake, the department said, it’s best to back away slowly and avoid panicking.
Here are some additional tips from Austin-Travis County EMS:
How to avoid snakebite
- If you see a snake, freeze, and then back away slowly. If given the opportunity to escape, they usually will. Do not touch the snake.
- Never try to pick the snake up or attempt to trap it. Never handle a venomous snake, including a dead or decapitated one.
- Heavy footwear, snake-proof pants, leggings and boots will reduce your chances of being bitten.
If you are bitten
- Keep calm.
- Seek medical attention as soon as possible. Call 911 or your local Emergency Medical Services. Antivenom is the treatment for snakebite.
- Take a picture of the snake from a safe distance. Identifying the snake will help with treatment.
- Apply first aid while waiting for EMS.
- If you were bitten by a pit viper, lay or sit down with affected limb elevated.
- If you were bitten by a coral snake, keep the affected area level with the heart.
- Remove rings and watches before swelling begins.
- Wash the bite with soap and water.
- Cover the bite with clean, dry dressing.
What not to do if you are bitten
- Don’t drive yourself to the hospital. You may become dizzy or pass out.
- Don’t wait for symptoms; get help immediately.
- Do not apply a tourniquet.
- Do not cut the wound or slash it with a knife.
- Don’t try to suck the poison out.
- Do not apply ice to the wound or submerge it in water.
- Don’t consume alcohol in order to reduce the pain.
- Do not take pain relievers such as aspirin.
- Do not apply electric shock or attempt any folk remedies.