A Folsom family had quite the scare when their young son was bitten by a rattlesnake while walking along a bike trail. Acting on instinct, his mother, who is pregnant, tried to suck the venom out of her son’s foot.
Jaclyn Caramazza, who is nine months pregnant, was anticipating a trip to the hospital sometime this month.
“We went to Mercy Folsom, which is about a five minute drive, and made it in three,” she said.
She made it to the hospital, but not because she was giving birth.
On their way back from a stroll on the Folsom Bike Trail, her 4-year-old son Vinny accidentally stepped on something brown. Something coiled up.
“It wasn’t dog poop,” Vinny said.
“I know, it was a snake,” his mom said.
“I’m looking around, and took his shoes off, and lo-and-behold, there were two little puncture marks,” Jaclyn said.
Vinny was bitten by a startled by a baby rattlesnake.
Within minutes, Vinny’s ankle started to swell and turned purple — the venom spread to his entire leg.
“Mama bear instinct in me decided to suck the venom because that’s what Bonanza does,” Jaclyn said.
But officials say that’s a definite “no-no.”
“Misconception is lacerate between the two points and suck the venom out,” Chris Stoots, with California Fish and Wildlife, said. “Absolutely don’t do that. Use your basic wound type stuff, soap and water, wash the area, keep it clean and call 911 immediately.”
Wildlife officials say there are definitely dos and don’ts when you’re in snake country. First off, don’t ever be barefoot or wear sandals, instead wear shoes and socks.
“Any type of boot or some type of leather, something good is going to protect your feet and ankle area, which is a common area for bites,” Stoots said.
Also, don’t provoke the snake or it could attack you. If it does, call 911 first.
Luckily, the venom Jaclyn tried to suck out of Vinny’s leg didn’t spread to her or her unborn son.
As for Vinny, he’s recovering well. From now on, the family will be a little more cautious.
“Being more aware of our surroundings and putting up some things in our backyard to keep the snakes out and counting our blessings,” she said.
You can get more information on rattlesnake safety, here.