We hope you can all avoid rattlesnake bites, and Brighton Peachy has tips for that, but in case you or anyone you know ever gets bit by a rattlesnake, we want you to know all the steps to take. Today’s episode is very important! The more you know, the better prepared you can be.
Brighton Peachy, is a Wilderness EMT & a mom of 3 little boys (ages 5,4, and 1). Her family loves getting outdoors through climbing, backpacking, & mountain biking. They recently converted a van that they lived in for the summer as they travel across the country. Before kids, Brighton got her Bachelor’s degree in Wilderness Rescue. She has worked as an EMT for the last 8 years in the ER and has also worked on Salt Lake County Search and Rescue Team. She teaches Wilderness First Aid courses to help people feel more prepared going into the backcountry.
Brighton is naturally very afraid of snakes. But learning more has made her feel more confident when coming across them. Summer is “peak” snake season in Utah.
Things You Can Do to Avoid Rattlesnakes and Their Bites:
- Listen for the sound of a rattlesnake – they sound like a distinct rattle; try locate direction of rattlesnake, so you don’t get closer
- Stay back! – they can strike up to 5 feet and usually forward, so move back and diagonally (or sideways and back)
- Teach kids not to approach (keep kids close) – practise this ahead of time
- Do not throw rocks or sticks at snake – will cause the snake to attack more; it’s also illegal to hurt a rattlesnake in some areas
- Alert others! – determine if it makes sense to continue on adventure or not, because there will likely be more rattlesnakes
- You cannot hear baby rattlesnakes, but they will usually hang out on rocks or between rocks, or in the cracks
If Someone Gets Bit by a Rattlesnake:
- Move away so you don’t get bit again; Stay calm and remain still – stress and tension can spread the venom (breathe and think of next steps)
- Remove restrictive clothing, jewellery, shoes – swelling is common
- Position bite below heart – so venom doesn’t spread
- Call 911 for help and/or to let hospital know you’re coming – not all hospitals have the anti-venom and they need time to prepare
- Carry the person who was bit or immobilize site – do not run, because again, we don’t want to increase heart rate
- Rinse with water and soap – ideally not hand sanitizer; this step can be done in ambulance or at hospital, or earlier if you’re on a backcountry trip
Some No-No’s After Rattlesnake Bites:
- Do not suck out venom
- Do not apply tourniquet
- Do not apply ice
- Do not drink caffeine or alcohol
- Do not take blood thinning medications like pain killers
- Do not increase heart rate
- Do not try catch the snake
Do not let the fear of snakes keep you from getting outside! Be prepared.
Pendleton Blanket Recommendation (found at Costco):
Podcast Recommendation: Out Alive
Follow Brighton on IG and TikTok: @brightonpeachy
Thank you to Keen Footwear for sponsoring today’s podcast! Check out www.keenfootwear.com
Today’s Host: @adriannaadventures & @laurenrodycheberle from @kidswhoexplore
Production: @kpmediaproductions. Music: @michaelferraro_music