Rattlesnake bites and bee stings
Alan Houser (troop24@EMF.NET)
Sat, 18 Jul 1998 09:09:58 -0700
I wanted to add to the recent discussion of rattlesnake bites an
incident that happened at our camp a couple of weeks back.
During the campwide games, a Scout actually stepped on a rattlesnake.
He was so excited about finding it that he didn't realize he had
actually been bitten! He RAN to the Ecology/Conservation Lodge to
tell a counselor about it so the counselor could capture the snake.
Several hours later (!) he noticed a tenderness and swelling on his
leg, and a trip to the medic's lodge showed the telltale marks of
the snake's fangs. The Scout was doing fine, last I heard.
A couple of lessons here:
1) The Scout never felt the bite as a bite. He thought the snake's
head just bounced against his shin. It now seems likely that the
snake managed only a glancing strike in self defense. Whenever a
Scout comes into contact with a rattlesnake or other poisonous snake,
he should carefully examine himself. A snake bite may not feel like
2) Despite doing everything wrong (keep quiet and still; seek immediate
medical attention), the Scout survived with only a minor injury. In
fact, most snake bite victims will survive just fine, contrary to most
fears. More folks die from bee stings and spider bites than from snake
Which prompts me to remind folks that there was a recall of bee sting
kits recently. If you have Scouts or Scouters with such an allergy,
make sure that they have replaced the old kits with the newer ones.
It could really make a life or death difference.
Alan R. Houser ** email@example.com
** Scoutmaster, Troop 24, Berkeley, California **
** WWW page ** http://www.emf.net/~troop24/t24.html **
Scoutmaster, Mt. Diablo Silverado Council Jamboree Troop #637
** http://www.geocities.com/Yosemite/Trails/9637/ **
Terry Howerton Sakima Group, Inc. SCOUTER Magazine Kansas City