Download as MP3

As the weather gets warmer, rattlesnakes are emerging from hibernation. The Arizona Poison and Drug Information Center reports snakes already have bitten eight people, but the bite victims all have recovered.

rattlesnakes-snake_fullframe

Photo: Rikki Mitchell

The poison center says the best thing to do if you see a snake is to move away from it and don’t depend on the rattle to warn you of a strike.

“The general rule of thumb is that if you do see a rattlesnake, you take one step back and you should be out of striking distance,” says Dr. Keith Boesen, director of the poison center.

Snakebite season typically runs from April through October, Boesen says.

If you do get bitten by a snake, seek medical help immediately and don’t do anything to treat the bite yourself, since some treatments can cause more harm than good, Boesen says. Ice, tourniquets, cutting, sucking and most things you see on TV and in the movies simply don’t work, he says.

If you get bitten by a snake, call the poison center anytime at 1-800-222-1222.