Copperhead bites 5-year-old boy picking up leaves at Texas home

Images posted by aunt show boy in hospital with swollen hand

Copperheads (Pixabay)

A 5-year-old Texas boy was hospitalized after he was bit by a copperhead snake while doing yardwork earlier this month.

The boy, Daniel, was with his uncle, picking up leaves on June 1 when the snake struck his hand, his family told the Fort Worth Star-Telegram and wrote on Facebook.

Daniel’s uncle rushed him to a hospital in Houston, where a toxicologist was able to treat him with antivenom.

Yesterday Daniel was bit by a copperhead. We got to the ER extremely quick and we’re blessed to find out Dr. Spencer...

Posted by Brandy Madrid Smith on Thursday, June 2, 2022

His aunt, Brandy Smith, posted one Facebook image of Daniel in the hospital, hooked up to an IV and resting. Another image showed his swollen hand and a bruise where the snake bit him.

She added that he was able to go home the following day because his range of motion and labs were good.

“I’ve truly never been so scared in my life,” Smith said in a Facebook post, also thanking Dr. Spencer Greene for treating Daniel.

Copperheads are one of four common venomous snakes to look out for in Texas, especially in the warm weather. The other venomous snakes in the Lone Star State include cottonmouths, rattlesnakes and coral snakes.

Copperheads are usually light-colored with red or brown crossbands along their body, and they can grow up to 26 inches.

“Snake venom’s most important function is to kill animals to be eaten,” according to TPWD. “Defense is only a secondary function. Like all vipers, southern copperheads use the ‘heat-seeking pits’ behind their eyes to help locate their prey. Lying motionless on a bed of dead leaves, the pale-brown and chestnut-colored southern copperhead is all but invisible-a regular stealth viper.”

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Rebecca Salinas joined KSAT in the fall of 2019. Her skills include content management, engagement and reporting.