Boy recovering from school playground ratt­lesnake bite

Longs Creek Elementary grounds treated with snake repellant, teachers on recess patrol

SAN ANTONIO - A third-grade boy was back in class Thursday after being bitten on the finger by a rattlesnake on Longs Creek Elementary's playground.

The incident happened Tuesday during the KIN after-school program, according to a letter sent to school parents.

The boy, whose name was not released, was taken to a hospital emergency room where he received anti-venom treatment, according to NEISD.

"The good news is he responded well to treatment. He's expected to make a full recovery," said Aubrey Chancellor, NEISD spokeswoman.

Children returned to outdoor recess Thursday.

"Teachers are going to be strategically placed around the playground to really monitor student activity and be on alert," Chancellor said.

Maintenance crews also treated the perimeter of the campus and portables with snake repellant, according to the district.

The boy was bitten near a chain-link fence located at the extreme boundary of the playground. The fence separate the playground from a brushy greenbelt.

Neighbors of the school were uncomfortable to learn a snake was slithering so close to a school.

"I'm going to be keeping an eye out when I cut the grass," said resident Garth Corey.

Rattlesnake bites can be fatal.

"If you do get bit by a rattlesnake, try and keep the part that was bitten nice and still," said Dr. Dan Tubbesing, ER physician at North Central Baptist Hospital. "There's no benefit to cutting it open and sucking the poison out; no benefit to icing it down and putting a tourniquet on."

A bite that may appear benign initially can progress over several minutes or even hours, according to Tubbesing, who advised anyone who is snake-bitten get to an emergency room quickly.

"The question is really, 'Is is a dry bite or envenomated bite?' If you actually do get venom in, how much and how severe? " he said.

Counter to what may seem logical, Tubbesing said baby snakes can be more dangerous because they tend to inject venom with almost every bite, unlike an adult snake.

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