Poison Control: Watch out for silent baby rattlers

Poison Control: Watch out for silent baby rattlers

By Phil Villarreal. CREATED Aug 6, 2014

TUCSON (KGUN9-TV) - Hikers, gardeners and seniors should be on the lookout for deadly baby rattlesnakes, warns the Arizona Poison and Drug Information Center.

Unlike rattle-loving human babies, infant snakes are rattle-free until they first shed their skins. That makes them particularly dangerous, the center says, because they can't warn people and animals of danger.

"People may not figure out what has happened until we go over the symptoms they are having," said, Keith Boesen, PharmD, director of the poison center, in a news release. "Adult rattlers don't always give an audible warning before or while they are biting either, so the risk of unidentified snakebite exists year-round."

The center, which serves the state except for Maricopa County, reported 74 rattlesnake bites this year through the end of July. Those who are bitten should call the center for advice at 1-800-222-1222.
"We will ask a few questions that will help you either identify possible snakebite or eliminate it," Boesen said. "With snakebite, the sooner the medical treatment, the better the outcome, so calling us right away can make a very big difference for the victims and the medical teams treating them."