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Keeping children & pets safe from snakes.

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Keeping Children and Pets safe from Snakes
Tiger Snake (Notechis scutatus)

Keeping children & pets safe from snakes : Pets

Keeping children & pets safe from snakes is frighteningly challenging for the reason of the highly venomous snakes we come in contact with. Add a little pet curiosity and we have a problem. The problem being with cats and dogs is that they are often either very inquisitive, or aggressive. 

Any snake sighting is bound to provoke a response. The best way to keep your cats and dogs safe from snakes is, of course, to keep them indoors. For the most part, our dog is an indoor dog, other than letting her out to go to the toilet. 

Our dog also gets regular exercise from being taken to the dog park which is fenced. Although a snake could easily get into the area, any snake would have to be suicidal to hang around in a dog park. 

Our cats are outdoor cats during the day, but we inherited them when they were 8 years old as outdoor cats, so switching them to indoor cats did not seem right. Indoor cats on average, live much longer than outdoor cats, not just because of snakes, but also because they are safe from ticks, traffic, dogs, possums, other aggressive cats, and the many infectious diseases that they can catch from other cats. 

Keeping children & pets safe from snakes : Children

The best thing you can do for your children, yourself and your pets is to keep your garden and surrounding outdoor area as tidy as possible. 

• Keep the grass cut short.

• Keep the weeds down. 

• Keep outdoor sheds and garages tidy. 

• Do not pile up compost, weeds, or cuttings in your yard. 

• Do not leave out any food or water sources for snakes. 

• Be aware that ponds and water features can attract snakes. 

• Basically, eliminate all sources of cover under which a snake could hide.

Doing these sort of things will not safeguard your garden from snakes, but it will mean if a snake is on your property, you are more likely to see it.

It also makes it less likely a snake will want to go onto your property as snakes much prefer to roam around under cover and in thick vegetation. When out and about, never walk in long grass or weeds and never put your hands into an area where you cannot see what might be in there. 

If a snake bite occurs: 

• Call 000 

• Quickly apply a broad pressure bandage across the bite 

• Little venom reaches the blood stream if firm pressure is applied over the bite and the limb is immobilised 

• Crepe bandages are ideal, but any flexible material may be used such as clothing, towel’s or pantyhose 

• Keep patient still, including all limbs 

• Do not cut or excise the bitten area 

• Do not apply an arterial tourniquet 

• Do not wash the bitten or stung area. The type of snake may be identified by the venom on the skin.

• Pressure-immobilisation reduces the movement of venom and buys time for the patient to reach medical care.

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