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Teen Playing "Pokemon Go" Bitten By Venomous Snake

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FLOWER MOUND (AP/KRLD) - One North Texas teenager is learning the hard way to always be aware of one's surroundings while playing "Pokemon Go".

18-year-old Lane Smith was with a friend looking for what the app calls a "Pokestop" when he had a little mishap.

The Medical Center of Lewisville says Smith was wearing flip flops, when a small brown snake, suspected to be a copperhead, had wrapped himself around his foot and bit his toe.

Within minutes, Lane says his foot began to swell and he could feel pain spreading up to his thigh. His parents rushed him to nearby Flower Mound Emergency Center, a department of Medical Center of Lewisville.

"It's important to go to a full-service emergency room as soon as possible after a snake bite," said James Doyle, MD, Medical Center of Lewisville Emergency Medical Director. "Snake bites can produce an array of symptoms, including pain and swelling, nausea, convulsions, and even paralysis. Quick treatment is essential for the best outcome."

Smith was able to have a good laugh once he realized he was going to be okay.

"The first thing I did was text my friends," Lane laughed from his hospital bed at Medical Center of Lewisville.

The one thing Smith can be thankful for is that he wasn't alone.

"He wants people to know to be aware of their surroundings, to always have a buddy with them," hospital spokeswoman CeCe Clemens said regarding Smith. "He was glad that he had a friend there that was able to get him help."

Although accidents do happen, Clemens says the game can be a good thing when used the right way.

"It is getting kids outside, so I think we're happy about that," she says.

Luckily for Smith, only one of the snake's fangs broke the skin, resulting in him not needing antivenom treatment.

He was released less than 24-hours later and is recovering at home.

This isn't the first incident attributed to the "Pokemon Go" craze.

Mike Schultz, a 21-year-old communications graduate on Long Island, New York, took a spill on his skateboard as he stared at his phone while cruising for critters last week. He cut his hand on the sidewalk after hitting a big crack, and blames himself for going too slowly.

"I just wanted to be able to stop quickly if there were any Pokemons nearby to catch," he says. "I don't think the company is really at fault."

Kyrie Tompkins, a 22-year-old freelance web designer, fell on the sidewalk and twisted her ankle while wandering in downtown Waterville, Maine, last week.

"It vibrated to let me know there was something nearby and I looked up and just fell in a hole," she says. Her parents had to drive her and her fiancé home.

The "Pokemon Go" craze across the U.S. has people wandering into yards, driveways, cemeteries and even an off-limits police parking lot in search of cartoon monsters, prompting warnings that trespassers could get arrested or worse, if they cross paths with an armed property owner.

Since the release of the smartphone game last week, police have gotten a flurry of calls from residents about possible burglars or other strangers prowling the neighborhood.

The game isn't bad news for everyone, however, as Texas cab companies think the game is bringing them more business. 

Cowboy Cab Company employee Saied Rafie said, "Recently we've been receiving calls for people requesting taxis for a few hours."

Rafie said while people aren't being specific about why they want the taxi they are asking specific questions. "They want to know what the rate is, what's the hourly rate, and what it is per mile — so they can hire these taxis for two to three hours," he said.

The "augmented reality" game, which layers gameplay onto the physical world, became the top grossing app in the iPhone app store just days after its release last week in the United States, Australia and New Zealand.

(©2016 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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