Friday, July 4 2014, 06:42 PM EDT
Ohio Child Recovering From Copperhead Bite In Tennessee
An Ohio child is recovering after being bitten by a Copperhead while visiting Tennessee.
11-year-old Ethan Aldridge was traveling with family from Ohio when they stopped in Ocoee to take pictures of the Hiwassee River.
In a Skype interview, Ethan tells us, "I jumped up on the wall and started screaming because my hand was hurting. I yelled 'I've been bit by a snake!'"
He was flown to Children's At Erlanger where he stayed for three days. Friday, his vacation is back on track.
A Tennessee State Park Ranger says this time of year, snake sightings are common.
"They like the sun. They use it as body heat so they'll get out on trails a lot of times because that's where the sun is cutting through," says Angelo Giansanti. "It helps warm them up. People will be walking around and not paying attention and will step on one. The snake freaks out, they freak out, everybody freaks out."
There are many different types of snakes in Tennessee, but only two you need to worry about.
"They treat all snakebites here the same because the only two venomous snakes in our area are rattlesnakes and copperheads. The anti-venom is treated the same so all you really need to do is get to the hospital as soon as you can," says Giansanti.
While snakes seem scary, most of the ones in our area are not venomous. They also play a huge role in the environment, monitoring the rodent population and helping prevent the spread of disease.
"Just leave them alone. Walk around it. It's not going to try to come after you," says Giansanti. "The only snakes I've ever heard of chasing people are after they poked or messed with it so if you leave it alone, it will leave you alone."
Fortunately, other than a swollen hand and marked-up arm... Ethan is walking away with an interesting story to share.
"It's been fun but painful because the snake bite hurts, but I've been in newspapers, been on TV...," says Ethan. His mother, Jenette Mulholland asks, "But probably not the way that you wanted to, right?
Ethan laughs, and through a smile, says, "Yeah."
The Erlanger Health System says they've treated seven adults and five children for snake bites this year.
By: Kelsey Bagwell