SNAKE BITES

By September 3, 2018Recent

In Australia estimates of snake bite have reduced from around 3000 to 1000 bites per. This
is largely a result of the increasing public awareness about snakes. As 95% of people who
are bitten are trying to catch or kill the snake it seems obvious that the more we leave
snakes alone the more the annual bite rate will continue to decline. Of the previously
mentioned 1000 people who are bitten each year only around 200-300 require
hospitalisation and anti-venom, out of that only 1-4 people die annually from a snake bite.
This is a very low mortality rate for a country with over 24 million people.

Statistically you
are more likely to die from Bee’s, Horses or drowning as the below statistics illustrate.
• About 20 people a year die from horse riding accidents.
• Around 10 people per year in Australia die from European Honey Bee stings after
going into anaphylactic shock.
• Around 300 people a year drown.

Reducing the risk of snake bite

1. Don’t try to catch or kill snakes – You will reduce your chance of being bitten by 95%
2. Know what to do when you encounter a snake and teach your children. If you are of
the belief that you need to catch or kill the snake to keep your family safe then there’s
a good chance the opposite will happen. Children imitate their parents and if you don’t
set a good example to stay away from snakes then your children won’t either.
3. Wear long pants and enclosed shoes when walking in bushland or working in your
yard. Wear gloves if you’re gardening.
4. When outdoors at night use a torch to see where you are walking, especially on hot
nights when snakes become more active.
5. Always lift objects such as corrugated iron so they face away from you. This reduces
the likelihood of putting your self in a dangerous situation if a snake is sheltering
beneath it. Preferably stack objects such as this upright or off the ground.
6. When walking in bushland stick to formed paths so you can see and avoid snakes
7. Every Australian should own a first aid kit stocked with pressure bandages or
alternatively a snake bite first aid kit. Even our busiest cities can be home to some of
Australia’s most venomous snakes.

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