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North Texas Recording More Snake Bites As Temperatures Soar

NORTH TEXAS (CBSDFW.COM) - With the temporary weather cool down you may be spending more time outdoors, but medical experts warn there are more venomous creatures slithering around.

Since snakes are cold blooded they hibernate during the winter, that means when the weather gets warm the serpents are out searching for food and breeding.

Here in North Texas there are more snakes in urban areas this time of year. So far in 2019, emergency room staff at Children's Medical Center Dallas have treated 12 children for bites -- that's 5 more than all of last summer.

copperhead snake
(credit: iStock/Getty Images)

"It can have an effect on the nervous system. It can have an effect on the respiratory system. Different snakes have different effects," Dr. Halim Hennes said as he discussed snake bites.

Texas is home to a variety of venomous snakes including copperheads, rattlesnakes, cottonmouths and coral snakes.

While snake bites are rare -- with only about 1 person dying from snake bites each year in Texas -- they should be taken seriously.

Some of the symptoms of a snake bite include:

  • Bleeding
  • Fainting or dizziness
  • Fang marks
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Numbness or tingling around the bite or in the mouth
  • Swelling with pain
  • Trouble breathing

Medical experts say there are a number of things you should do if you're bitten by a snake. First - stay calm. For identification purposes, and if possible, someone should a take a photo of the snake that attacked.

Be prepared to get to a hospital, but If the person bitten needs to lie down be sure to raise the bitten area above the level of their heart. Never apply ice to a snakebite. Wounds should be washed out with warm water.

Hospital stays for snake bites range from one day to several weeks, and could include care for damaged tissue and antivenom. And keep in mind, nonvenomous snake bites can cause infections.

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