By Dominic Garcia

JEFFERSON COUNTY, Colo. (CBS4) – Days after a hiker died from a rattlesnake bite, Jefferson County Open Space officials are warning hikers to be careful.

rattlesnake Move Slowly: Jeffco Open Space Shares Advice For Rattlesnake Bites

(credit: CBS)

Martin Barwick is the ranger supervisor with Jeffco Open Space and says we are still in peak rattlesnake season.

“It’s best to try and remain as calm as possible. Move away from the rattlesnake, sit and call 911 and wait for first responders to come to you,” Barwick told CBS4.

He says it’s important to stay calm so the venom doesn’t spread quickly through the body.

“The faster you’re moving, the faster your heart’s pumping and the quicker that venom is moving. So if you can keep the wound below your heart and just slow down and wait for first responders to come to you and get medical attention, that’s the best thing you can do,” said Barwick.

When it comes to snake bites, there are plenty of myths out there.

Barwick says don’t try and suck the poison out or try and cut yourself to bleed it out. If you are bitten and are alone or don’t have cell service, the best thing you can do is move slowly back down the trail until you get service back or run into another hiker.

Officials want to remind people that even when a rattlesnake bites someone, it is very rarely deadly.

“Snakes aren’t set up with their venom to be lethal to something the size of a human,” said Barwick, “If you think about what they eat it’s rodents and small animals, so it’s normally not deadly.”

Dominic Garcia anchors CBS4 News at 5 p.m. and reports for CBS4 News at 10 p.m. Connect with the Denver native on Twitter @cbs4dom & on Facebook.


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