Those slippery little suckers that make most of us squirm! As the weather starts warming up we find more and more reports of snakes popping their heads out and potentially biting a loved one. So when we are talking about snakes we need to think about prevention, education and first aid.



Its time to do some research and understand what snakes might be hanging about in your back yard. Are they a snake that likes to hang about near water or do they like snuggle up to some dry warm shrubs? Once you understand what snakes are lurking around prepare your property to ensure that these habitats they enjoy are minimised, meaning removing any dry material and clearing your land or just being aware of the creek at the back and warning the kids to stay away.



As a parent you know as much as you can tell your children not to go near something, they are most likely to want to go closer and learn what is so dangerous, so as much as we must have a conversation with our children about snake safety we also need to educate them on safe ‘play wear’. What we mean by this is we want kids to play but they must wear appropriate clothing that will protect them whilst out exploring outside.


The bad news, Australia has some of the deadliest snakes…The good news… their fangs find it very difficult to pierce through thick clothing such as jeans and good sturdy foot wear.

Wearing appropriate clothing is your first defense!


First Aid:

So your child has run inside screaming “snake, snake, snake”! What do you do?

BELIEVE THEM! If anyone reports of being bitten by a snake, you are unlikely to see pierced fang marks or any superficial signs of a bite, so we need to take any report very very seriously. Once we understand that a bite may have occurred the next most vital step is to stay still, very still!


Signs and Symptoms

Under <1hour

+ headache

+ nausea

+ vomiting

+ loss of consciousness

+ diarrhoea

+ sensitivity to light


Between 1-3 hours

+ Paralysis

+ Loss of sensation



Over >3 hours

+ Respiratory failure

+ Cardiac Failure

+ Eventually death



Can I give you some homework? Look up what the lymphatics system is, it is the most amazing body system you will ever hear about! It is the battle zone of our bodies and its aim is to get rid of any yucky invaders before it hits our blood where venom really starts causing some trouble, including death.


What you need to know, is that the lymphatic system moves around through muscle movement and we DO NOT want the venom moving around and entering the blood, we want to contact it in this system until we seek help.


So what do we need to do;

STAY STILL – help must come to you

COMPRESS- Use a compression bandage around the site of the wound, then up the entirety of the limb towards the heart. We recommend the use of a bandage such as Setopress.

IMMOBILISE – Immobilise the area completely



X Wash the area of the bite of try suck out the venom X

X Incise or cut the bite OR apply a high tourniquet X

X Try to catch the snake X

X Remove compression bandage once applied X


If you would like to learn more about first aid for your baby or child please go to to contact your local Parentmedic Ambassador.


About the author of this article:

Nataly Tormey is the founder of The Parentmedic movement, a first-aid educator for over a decade and a registered nurse.

The Parentmedic Movement is operating in Australia, New Zealand and United Kingdom.


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