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Rattlesnake Safety

The Safety Site

        Monica Palmer, Safety Administrator

 Recreational Safety takes Responsibility & Control

Rattlesnake Safety Tips

Whether you are hiking, camping, or home in your own yard, you may encounter  rattlesnakes in Nevada and our neighboring states.  Following are some tips to help you prevent an unfortunate experience with a rattlesnake.

  1. Rattlesnakes are nocturnal, so they are more active during twilight and night time.  However, they do like to sun themselves while resting during the day. Watch for them sunning next to a trail.
  2. Wear hiking boots when walking through wilderness areas.
  3. Stay on the trail for better visibility.  Avoid tall grass and heavy underbrush where snakes may be hiding during the day.
  4. Do not step or put your hands where you cannot see.  Step on logs and rocks, not over them.  Inspect stumps, rocks, and logs before sitting on them.  If camping, avoid walking around after dark.  Shake out your sleeping bag before using it.
  5. Do not handle a freshly killed snake.  The carcass can still bite and inject venom by reflex.
  6. Teach children to respect snakes and to leave them alone.
  7. Take your dog to a professional snake training.
  8. Be careful when stepping over a doorstep, as snakes like to crawl along the edge of buildings where they feel protected.
  9. Rattlesnakes can swim, so be wary of picking up any floating “sticks” or “branches” while swimming.
  10.  Hike and camp with a buddy.
  11.  If bitten:  Stay calm

Wash the bite area gently with soap and water

Remove watches, rings, etc., which may constrict swelling

Immobilize the affected area

Transport safely to the nearest medical facility

  1. The latest research shows that snakebite kits do NOT work, so seek professional care.

 

Much of the information above was courtesy of the California Department of Fish & Wildlife.