Snake safety for runners

Snake safety for runners

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Snake safety for runners

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As the weather warms up, your chances of coming across a snake while running off the beaten path increases. However, don’t let the put the possibility of an encounter with a snake put you off lacing up your trainers and exploring our country’s fantastic running tracks and national parks.  These safety tips will help prepare you in case you do come across a snake.

Know your snakes

You’re not likely to come across a rattlesnake, however it pays to know the difference between a harmless carpet python and an eastern brown. Make yourself familiar with the venomous snakes found in your area. You’re more likely to encounter a snake during the early morning, evening or overnight, but it pays to be vigilant no matter where or when you’re running.

Be heavy footed

Snakes can’t hear you coming, but they will feel your vibrations. If they feel the ground moving, chances are they will slither to safety before you even see them.

What should you do if you see a snake?

Most people panic, however if you stay calm, stop, retreat and look for a way to bypass the snake, you should be fine. Remember, they are likely to be more scared of you and they’re not going to chase you down. Generally, people get bitten when they attempt to pick them up and move them. Even if it’s dead, don’t attempt to pick it up as snake heads are capable of biting, even up to an hour after they’re dead. (Ugh!).

In the unlikely case you get bitten, remain calm. If you have phone signal, call 000. The more you panic and rush around looking for help, the faster the venom will go through your blood stream. Should you be carrying a first aid kit,  apply pressure over the wound with  a bandage over the wound and wrap the affected limb.

If you are unable to identify the snake, take a photo on your smart phone, so you can show it to paramedics on arrival.