News

Warmer weather brings snake risks

31 October 2017

As more people head outdoors to enjoy the warmer weather, WA Health is reminding Western Australians to be vigilant against snake bites.

Western tiger snake
Western tiger snake
Source: Sir Charles Gairdner Hospital

Whether it’s down the beach, at a park, or in your backyard, the risk of snake bites increases dramatically over the warmer months.

While not all Australian snakes are venomous, it’s important that you treat all snake bites – including suspected bites – as potentially life threatening and call 000 immediately.

To improve your chances of a speedy recovery, there are some basic first aid steps you can take while waiting for medical help.

These include:

  • applying a broad pressure bandage from below upwards and over the bite site as soon as possible
  • do not remove trousers, as the movement of doing so will assist venom to enter blood stream – keep the bitten leg still
  • the bandage should be as tight as you would apply to a sprained ankle and extend the bandage as high as possible
  • apply a splint to the leg, immobilising joints either side of the bite and bind it firmly to as much of the leg as possible.

If bitten, it’s important that you don’t wash, squeeze or puncture the bite site and avoid any food and alcohol.

Do not attempt to catch or kill the snake.