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Protecting Children from Snakebites When Hiking

By Fredrika Syren:

My family and I love nature and outdoors, so we spend as much time hiking, biking and nature walking as possible. However, we live in San Diego so we do run the risk of snakes, especially rattlesnakes. If, like us, you are outdoorsy, chances are you will encounter snakes at some point. I know snakebites are very rare; however, it’s good to be prepared, especially if you’re out with kids. Because we had a close encounter with one last year, we now are more cautious and prepared to protect our children.

There is nothing like hiking and exploring with little ones; but, along with sunblock, proper shoes and plenty of water, other precautions are necessary. We also educate our children in wildlife safety because it’s super important to teach kids about safety while out on the trail. The good news is that only 8,000 people in the U.S. are bitten by snakes each year. The other good news is that only 10% of snakes in the U.S. are poisonous.

In the U.S., the venomous snakes are

  • Rattlesnake
  • Copperhead
  • Water moccasin
  • Coral snake

To keep your child safe and to avoid snakebites, teach your child to always leave snakes alone — no screaming, throwing anything at it, or poking it with a stick. Keep the children away from tall grass areas, and teach them to stay on the trail when hiking. Since snakes tend to hide underneath or inside things, teach children never to reach inside holes, or to pick up things from the ground.

When we hike, we always make sure that one of us is walking ahead of the kids; and if both of us are with them, one of us walks behind. My kids, just like most children, love climbing on rocks. That’s where we had an encounter: a rattlesnake was under one of the rocks. Luckily, I heard the rattling and got the kids away from it. Now I have taught my kids the sound of a rattlesnake, so they know to move away from it if they hear it.

Check out my YouTube video with tips for safe hiking with children:

It’s important to remember that all snakes can bite and may cause an infection. If bitten, it’s important to go to the ER as soon as possible, no matter what snakebite it is.

If a child is bitten by a snake, make sure to do this:

  • Move child away from snake.
  • Keep child calm.
  • Call 911.
  • Keep snake bite lower than the heart.

Here is more information about snakebites and how to avoid them:



About Green Mom

Fredrica Syren, the author and founder of Green-Mom.com, was born in Sweden. Her mother was a classically trained chef who introduced her to many eclectic flavors and skills at a young age. Her mom’s passion for the outdoors and gardening planted the seed for her own love of nature and healthy eating. She received a degree in journalism and has worked as a print, Internet and broadcasting journalist for many years with big businesses within Europe and the United States. After her mom was diagnosed with terminal cancer and she with pre-cancer, Fredrica changed her career to become a full time yoga teacher and activist. A longtime world traveler, foodie and career woman, she was exposed to many facets of life, but nothing inspired her more than becoming a mom. After her first-born, Fredrica began a food blog focusing on local, seasonal, organic & vegetarian dishes. Years of food blogging developed into the cookbook Yummy in My Tummy, Healthy Cooking for the Whole Family. Upon the arrival of her second child, Fredrica founded Green-Mom.com. Her vision was to establish a site providing insight about gardening, home and personal care, baby & child, and of course food & nutrition. Green-Mom.com hosts many talented writers shedding light on ways to incorporate eco-friendly and nutritious practices for busy families. She is an advocate for organic, local and sustainable businesses. Fredrica hopes to inspire social change through her lifestyle, passion and business. Fredrica lives with her husband James Harker-Syren and their three children in San Diego, CA.

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