3-year-old bitten twice by copperhead while walking home with family

Officials with the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency shared tips on how to keep your family safe from snakes. (Source: WVLT)
Published: Jun. 9, 2022 at 4:17 PM EDT
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MORGAN COUNTY, Tenn. (WVLT/Gray News) – A Tennessee family said their 3-year-old daughter is still recovering nearly a week and a half after being bitten by a copperhead snake twice on her foot.

The family, who asked to remain anonymous, said they were walking home from a family member’s house in recently cut grass when the child was bitten. She was wearing sandals, and the family said they didn’t see the snake until it was too late.

The girl was taken to the hospital for anti-venom treatment.

The family said they wanted to share their experience in hopes others don’t have to go through what they did.

Officials with the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency (TWRA) shared tips on how to keep your family safe from snakes.

TWRA field biologist Chris Ogle said to keep your yard decluttered and manicured. He recommended people wear closed-toe shoes when in the grass, especially if out at night.

Chief Medical Officer for East Tennessee Children’s Hospital Dr. Joe Childs said if someone is bitten, they need to go to the hospital right away.

“Any bite should be cleaned with soap and water. You don’t want to panic because lower heart rates are good for the person who’s bit. It keeps things from circulating as much through the body,” Childs said.

Thankfully, copperhead bites are rarely deadly. Childs said anti-venom treatment can be given on a case-by-case basis, but it can have serious side effects. However, East Tennessee Children’s Hospital, where the 3-year-old was treated, does keep it on hand.

“With a child getting a full dose of a bite from a venomous snake, they can be more susceptible to a serious injury,” Childs said.

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