The South African Guide to Snake Safety

South Africa has a variety of snake species. Sometimes just the mention of a snake can send some people in to a tizz. However, even though most people are afraid of snakes, they are common in South Africa and there is a high chance you will one day come into contact with one.

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With the Summer heat rising, snakes are becoming more active and coming out of hibernation.

Here's what to do if you are ever bitten by a snake...

STAY CALM! If you panic your heart rate will circulate and the venom will move around your body faster.

Limit activity. Do not run, walk, pace, jump - whatever! This as well as the stress, will only increase your heart rate.

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If driving to a hospital medical facility preferably have someone else drive.

There are some silly myths about snakebites that actually make the situation worse...
  • Do not ignore the snakebite and wait for the symptoms to kick in.
  • Do not use a tourniquet as it can only make the situation worse and cause medical complications.
  • Do not cut the area where you were bitten.
  • Do not try suck the venom out the wound.
  • Do not apply heat or cold packs to the bite area.
How to avoid being bitten by a snake:

- If you go hiking, camping or walking in the wilderness, always stay on the path and do not walk in bushy areas. Snakes like to hide in long grass, so always wear boots, socks and long pants.

- If you are picking up objects outside, like wood and logs, always be careful as snakes may be hiding underneath.

Image result- Never try to catch a snake or poke it with a stick. This will only antagonize it and make it strike at you. Keep in mind that snakes can strike up to two thirds of their length.

- Avoid walking in tall grass.

- When you set up camp, check the area to make sure it isn't the perfect home for snakes. If you see a lot of logs, branches, tall grass and rocks, move your camp to a different area.

While most people avoid contact with snakes at all costs, encounters with snakes are inevitable. Snakes will also most often try and avoid a confrontation with a human. Most snake venom does not have serious effects on humans; however after being bitten by a snake medical advice must be sought, never wait for symptom to develop before seeking help!

Downloading the PatrolMan app may be the help you need in an emergency situation! Simply press the nifty SOS button and help will be summoned immediately to your location!

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