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3-year-old California girl flown to UC Davis after rattlesnake bite in Chico driveway

KCRA Sacramento logo KCRA Sacramento 7/4/2022
A rattlesnake looking at the camera. © Tais Policanti A rattlesnake looking at the camera.

A 3-year-old girl is recovering at UC Davis Medical Center after being bitten by a rattlesnake outside her home in Chico.

Alice Germar was reportedly helping her dad take out the trash on Thursday night when she was bitten on her bare foot in the driveway of their Butte Creek Canyon home. She was rushed to Enloe Medical Center, where doctors administered anti-venom immediately. As a precaution, Alice was flown to UC Davis to receive additional pediatric care.

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(Video above | California rattlesnake season has begun: How to stay safe.)

According to her mom Tia Germar, Alice is doing well and "has already gone through four popsicles in the hospital."

The California rattlesnake population is booming this summer. As the state gets warmer, the rattlers find that they can get to more comfortable body temperatures, like their preferred range of a toasty 86 to 89 degrees Fahrenheit. “A warmer climate may help these snakes heat up to temperatures that are more optimal for digestion or reproduction,” said Hayley Crowell, a University of Michigan student researcher, in a statement to SFGATE in May.

ALSO READ: ‘They’re everywhere’: Why California’s rattlesnake population is exploding

Luckily, fatal snake bites are rare. According to the Centers for Disease Prevention and Control, between 7,000 and 8,000 people are bitten by venomous snakes in the United States annually. Five die on average. If you're bitten by a venomous snake, you should call 911 immediately. While awaiting medical attention, the Mayo Clinic recommends:

—Staying "still and calm" to keep the venom from spreading quickly

—Taking off tight clothes or jewelry

—Keeping the bite at or below your heart, if possible

—Cleaning the bite with soap and water. Do not apply ice or attempt a tourniquet

—Try to remember what the snake looked like, as its identification may help doctors in determining the proper course of treatment

The California Department of Fish and Wildlife says most snake bites occur between April and October, when more people are out and about in nature. They recommend wearing close-toed shoes in brushy areas, avoiding "tall grass, weeds and heavy underbrush" and checking "rocks, stumps or logs before sitting down."

SFGATE Central Coast editor Andrew Pridgen contributed to this report.


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