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Monday, June 2, 2014

From LAFD Blog: Rattlesnake Do's and Don't's LAFD responded to 120 snake incidents last month alone.

LOS ANGELES - Increasing temperatures draw people and snakes alike to the outdoors, and encounters between the two are inevitable. 
While Los Angeles has a variety of snakes, most of which are benign, there is an exception, the rattlesnake. Generally rattlers are not aggressive and given the chance they will retreat, but you certainly don't want to provoke one.

The California Poison Control Center notes that rattlesnakes account for more than 800 bites each year with one to two deaths, and many are surprised to learn that the Los Angeles Fire Department responded to 120 snake incidents last month alone. 

From LAFD Blog: Rattlesnake Do's and Don't's So whether your a hiker or a mountain biker, there are few things you want to do and a few things you don't...
  • Don't hike alone. Always have someone with you who can assist in an emergency.
  • Don't go barefoot or wear sandals when walking through wild areas. Over-the-ankle hiking boots are preferred.
  • Don't leave the well-used trails. Avoid tall grass and weeds where snakes may hide. 
  • Don't step or put your hands where you cannot see.
  • Don't handle a freshly killed snake, it can still inject venom. 
  • Do carry a fully charged cell phone to call 9-1-1.
  • Do wear loose-fitting long pants when hiking.
  • Do check out stumps or logs before sitting down, and shake out sleeping bags before use.
  • Do use caution when stepping over a doorstep as well. Snakes like to crawl along the edge of buildings where they are protected on one side.  
  • Do stay calm if you are bitten. This sounds trite, but will save your life. By becoming agitated, your heart beats faster and you increase circulation of the toxin. This may help in remaining calm: About 25 percent of the bites are “dry,” meaning no venom was injected, but the bites still require medical treatment. Keep your fingers crossed you're the 25%.
  • Do remove watches, rings, etc, which may constrict swelling and become stuck.
  • Do immobilize the affected area.
  • Do remember to have fun when outdoors and use common sense!  

Source: LAFD Blog Erik Scott, Spokesman 
"Serving with Courage, Integrity and Pride"
Public Service Officer
Emergency Public Information (EPI) Center
Los Angeles Fire Department
500 East Temple Street
Los Angeles, CA 90012
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