A Copperhead Snake Bit a 4-Year-Old Boy—Here's Where It Was Hiding

The child is recovering after receiving 10 vials of anti-venom to treat the injury.

Even though they're a vital part of the ecosystem, it's no secret that snakes can often be challenging to spot. And while this form of natural protection makes it easier for them to hunt and stay safe from predators, it can also make it even more difficult to steer clear of them while out in nature. Unfortunately, this can sometimes result in unexpected close encounters leading to a severe medical emergency. In the latest instance, a copperhead snake bit a 4-year-old boy while he was playing during a family vacation. Read on to see where the animal was hiding when it happened.

READ THIS NEXT: Venomous Snake Spotted Swimming Across Lake: "This Is a New Fear."

A 4-year-old boy had an accidental run-in with a copperhead in North Carolina.

copperheard snake

The return of warm weather is usually the perfect excuse to start taking advantage of being out in nature once again. But in a recent outdoor accident, a young boy was injured after a copperhead snake bit him during a family camping trip, local Chattanooga, Tennessee NBC affiliate WRCB-TV reports.

The incident occurred while 4-year-old Jad Pollom was playing on the porch of a cabin his family was staying in during a camping trip to Highlands, North Carolina, over Memorial Day weekend. The reptile was hiding beneath patio furniture at the time of the accident, according to his mother, Stacey Pollom.

While the close encounter caught everyone off-guard, the boy's father was able to snap a quick photo of the snake before it disappeared back into the woods so that doctors could potentially identify it, WRCB reports.

The injured child had a harrowing experience during his recovery.

A young boy on a stretcher being placed onto a medical helicopter by two EMS workers
Stacey Pollom / Facebook

Jad's parents acted quickly after the accident and brought him to a local emergency room for treatment, local Chattanooga, Tennessee ABC affiliate WTVC reports. But unfortunately, his condition continued to worsen even after receiving 10 vials of anti-venom.

Doctors then made the decision to fly the young victim to the Children's Hospital at Erlanger in Chattanooga via helicopter. Jad spent the next three days receiving treatment and recovering there before he was discharged and sent home with his family.

"Gonna be a long time before I go camping again," Pollom's mother wrote in a May 27 Facebook post detailing the incident. She also thanked the "incredible healthcare professionals" for treating her son and helping him recover after the ordeal.

RELATED: For more up-to-date information, sign up for our daily newsletter.

Experts say the family responded perfectly to their son's snakebite.

Recovering Little Child Lying in the Hospital Bed Sleeping, Mother Holds Her Hand Comforting. Focus on the Hands. Emotional Family Moment.

Despite the harrowing experience, Jad's family says they're grateful they received the help they needed so quickly.

"At the end of the day, things happen. You know, accidents happen," Stacey told WRCB. "You can't bubble wrap your kids. If I could, I would. You just do your best to be aware and know the proper safety responses after."

But experts also pointed out that the family's quick responses deserved credit. Besides immediately taking their son to the emergency room, having a photo of the snake on hand helped doctors determine the right kind of response immediately.

According to Tish Gailmard, a representative with Reflection Riding Arboretum & Nature Center in Chattanooga, this can be particularly helpful with anti-venom treatment.

"Copperhead venom is hemolytic, so it is going to damage your red blood cells," she told WRCB. "It gives you temporary tissue damage in the area. It's very painful."

You can avoid accidental close encounters with venomous snakes by following a few tips.

A copperhead snake coiled on the ground on a hiking trail
iStock / the4js

Even if you're doing your best to stay alert, unexpected run-ins with snakes are simply one of the risks that come along with spending time in nature. But experts point out that doesn't necessarily mean you should retreat from your favorite outdoor activities.

"Odds are, you will walk by one totally unseen and totally unaware that that snake was there," outdoors expert Richard Simms told WTVC. "However, because they are so well camouflaged, and they are not aggressive, they're not going to bother you if you don't bother them."

You can also help cut down on your chances of getting bitten by helping to remove the element of surprise. "When you're out in the woods and you're concerned about snakes, stomp, clap your hands, make a lot of noise, talk loudly. They cannot hear, [but] they feel vibrations," Gailmard told WRCB. "They are more afraid of us than we are of them."

And as always, it's best to keep your surroundings in mind when you're on the hiking trail or doing yard work. "Snakes like to get up underneath things. They like to be in log piles and rocks," Gailmard said. "Think about those things when you're out in the wild, but don't be afraid to go outside, just be knowledgeable and aware."

Zachary Mack
Zach is a freelance writer specializing in beer, wine, food, spirits, and travel. He is based in Manhattan. Read more
Filed Under
 •  •