Stay snake safe this summer

January 28, 2018

With the hot weather that Gwydir Shire has been experiencing, residents are urged to remain vigilant when it comes to snake safety and first aid. On Thursday of last week, an unsuspecting Olivia Mack had to keep her wits about her when she felt a sting whilst hanging up some laundry.

Olivia Mack is in good spirits after being bitten by a brown snake on Thursday.

Olivia Mack is in good spirits after being bitten by a brown snake.

“Straight away I knew something had stung or bitten me, but it never crossed my mind that it was a snake. When I first looked around I couldn’t see anything in the grass, but then I spotted a small brown snake near my foot,” Olivia said. Luckily for Olivia, her sister Brielle had recently completed her first aid training and was quick to give some life-saving information.  “My sister talked me through the whole process, stressing to me that I shouldn’t move from where I was and knowing to bandage firmly from foot to groin.”

Within an hour, Olivia was at Bingara Hospital and then transferred to Tamworth Base Hospital for an overnight stay. On Friday morning, the doctors were happy with Olivia’s health and she was given the all clear and discharged. Olivia is now feeling completely normal and was quick to thank the local community for the support and kind words she has received.

When asked whether she had any tips for anyone who is unfortunate enough to find themselves in the situation that Olivia was in, she responded that “everyone should know the importance of correct first aid and knowing your exact address. Keeping bandages close by is something that everyone needs to do and calling emergency services straight away, giving them your exact address with the location and property name or suburb is of utmost importance.”

Residents of Bingara are encouraged to brush up on their snake safety knowledge. In particular, to recognise at this time of year and weather conditions, snakes can be quite common. When people are cleaning their yards, picking up rubbish or even walking in long grass they should ensure that closed in shoes and long pants are worn. Often snakes are drawn to houses as there is food, water and shelter available.

Olivia was left with a swollen foot after suffering the snake bite.

Olivia was left with a swollen foot after suffering the snake bite.

To give yourself the best chances of avoiding snake bites, you can:

  • Ensure there is no rubbish around the home and gardens are kept tidy.
  • Take steps to control mouse and rat population.
  • Check boots before putting them on if they are left outdoors.
  • Refrain from putting your hand somewhere that cannot be seen.

If you come across a snake, ensure that you keep small children and pets away from it and make sure not to touch it. The majority of snake bites occur when people attempt to move, kill or harm a snake and should be left for professionals to deal with.

If you or someone you know are bitten, the best thing to do is minimise exertion, compress the site of the bite and to call 000 immediately.