Augusta, GA -
A five year old boy is in the hospital after being bitten by a snake while visiting Lake Thurmond. This is the time of year that snakes roam.
News Channel Six's Dee Griffin has a look at what you should do if bitten by a snake. Most people are spending more time outside right now and so are snakes. A local five year old found that out the hard way this week. His family wants their experience to serve as a warning for you and your loved ones.
This is how five year old Kessler Seamon is spending his first week of summer vacation. On Monday, fun at the lake quickly turned into fear when something bit his toe. "After it bit me I looked behind me and it was a snake."
Not just any snake, it was a copperhead which surprised his mother who grew up camping at the lake. "Same place growing up camping ever since I was little no big deal. We never thought anything of it. Yeah you see snakes. But not a copperhead," explains Hope Seamon.
University of Georgia Senior Research Ecologist Dr. Witt Gibbons says Georgia has 41 species of snakes and South Carolina has 38 and we can expect to see more of them at this time of the year. "A lot of them are breeding right now. Some of them are laying their eggs and they're all of course active because winter is over and it's time to get something to eat," says Dr. Gibbons.
At this time of the year experts say it's important to be careful when putting your hand in bushes or even reaching for something like a hose.
"They could think that your hand is something to eat. But more than likely they're threatened and they're going to bite out of defense," explains Dr. Gibbons.
Kessler found out the hard way after stepping in the snakes path. Within minutes, his mother was able to get him to an urgent care center then Doctors Hospital. Dr. Richard Cartie of Doctors Hospital says, "the sooner you get to medical attention and can start the anti-venom therapy the better and that's really all it comes down to."
Kessler and his family are hoping his small bite can be a big lesson for other families. "Woods, snakes you know to watch. But from here on out my kids will use the gravel paths and the cleared roads. This was a man made path," concludes Hope Seamon.
Ecologist Dr. Witt Gibbons says if you're outside in areas where snakes roam wear long pants, boots and high top shoes. Also, he says most people get bitten when trying to kill a snake. He says it's best just to leave it alone and go in a different direction.