OKC pediatrician gives parents safety advice on snakes, insects


OKLAHOMA CITY (KFOR) – With more ideal temperatures in the forecast, many Oklahoma families will be seeking fun in the great outdoors while practicing social distancing, but it’s important to remember safety precautions.

Snakes and insects tend to head out this time of year, too.

As families head into the wide open spaces, pediatricians with OU Children’s Hospital say snake bites and illnesses from tick bites are the biggest concerns in our state.

“The ticks need to be attached for at least 24 hours to infect a patient with these,” said Dr. Stephanie DeLeon, OU Children’s Hospital Pediatrician.

If you’re not sure how long it’s been attached, look for fever, headache, abdominal pain and a rash.

Rattlesnakes, copperheads and cottonmouths are Oklahoma’s venomous snakes to look out for.

If you’re not sure what type of snake bit your child, DeLeon says seek medical care.

“There are some old wives’ tales about trying to suck out the poison or tying a tourniquet on but we don’t recommend any of those things be done,” she said. “We want families to just wash the wound and seek medical treatment.”

Black widows and brown recluse spiders are also ones parents should look out for in the Sooner state.

“Brown recluse bites especially can cause an opening in the skin that will ulcerate and can look pretty bad to families,” said DeLeon. “Black widow spider bites can cause a lot of muscle cramping and vomiting in kids as well.”

Don’t forget sunscreen and insect spray – and above all else, keep an eye on kids and their surroundings.

Especially around water – to prevent drownings.

You can call poison control at (800) 222-1222 for spider bite concerns.

However, don’t be afraid to call your doctor or seek emergency medical care, even if a mosquito bite seems severe.

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