NC – While snakes are crucial to the ecosystem’s balance, their inherent stealth can often lead to unexpected encounters, sometimes with dangerous consequences.
Recently, a 4-year-old boy was bitten by a copperhead snake during a family vacation, shining a light on the challenges of encountering these well-camouflaged reptiles in the wild.
A Serpentine Surprise on a Sunny Day
As warm weather heralds the arrival of outdoor activities, a family vacation took a terrifying turn when a copperhead snake bit 4-year-old Jad Pollom during a family camping trip in Highlands, North Carolina, local Chattanooga, Tennessee’s NBC affiliate WRCB-TV revealed.
The sudden and unforeseen encounter shook everyone, with the boy’s father managing to capture a snapshot of the snake before it slithered back into the wilderness, aiding potential identification by medical professionals.
Quick Thinking and Rapid Response
Following the alarming incident, Jad’s parents swiftly transported him to a local emergency room for immediate medical attention, according to Chattanooga’s ABC affiliate WTVC.
Despite the administration of 10 vials of anti-venom, Jad’s condition worsened, necessitating his airlift to the Children’s Hospital at Erlanger in Chattanooga. Following three days of intensive treatment and recovery, Jad was finally discharged.
Stacey Pollom, Jad’s mother, took to Facebook on May 27 to express her gratitude towards the “incredible healthcare professionals” who helped her son recover. “Gonna be a long time before I go camping again,” she added.
While the ordeal was undeniably harrowing, the family expressed their gratitude for the quick and effective help they received.
Experts Laud Family’s Fast Action and Preparedness
Medical and nature experts commended the family’s quick response to the crisis, especially their foresight in photographing the snake, which allowed doctors to determine the correct treatment immediately.
Tish Gailmard, a representative from Chattanooga’s Reflection Riding Arboretum & Nature Center, explained the importance of snake identification, stating that “Copperhead venom is hemolytic, so it is going to damage your red blood cells. It gives you temporary tissue damage in the area. It’s very painful.”
Staying Safe in Snake Territory
Despite the inherent risks of snake encounters in the great outdoors, experts maintain that nature lovers need not shy away from their favorite activities. Richard Simms, an outdoors expert, reassured that “because [snakes] are so well camouflaged, and they are not aggressive, they’re not going to bother you if you don’t bother them.”
Gailmard advised outdoor enthusiasts to make noise while hiking, as snakes, though deaf, can sense vibrations. She also advised being cautious around potential snake hideouts like log piles and rocks.
As we revel in the beauty of the outdoors, these incidents remind us to remain vigilant, aware, and respectful of the wild creatures with whom we share these spaces.