Children's Health and Wellness

Take the Snakebite Quiz

They fascinate. They repel. Some pose a danger. Most are harmless. And whether they are seen as scary creatures or colorful curiosities, snakes play important environmental roles in the fragile ecosystems of the nation's wildlife areas.

1. The most common venomous snakes in the United States are native to all states except:You didn't answer this question.You answered The correct answer is The most common venomous snakes in the United States are pit vipers. Pit vipers have triangular heads, elliptic (slit-shaped) pupils and fangs that are folded against the upper jaw while the snake is resting. The fangs rotate down and forward when the snake bites. The snake's name comes from the depression, or pit, midway between the eye and nostril on either side of the head. This pit is a special organ that senses temperature, helping the snake locate its prey. There are three main groups in this family: rattlesnakes, copperheads, and water moccasins (also called cottonmouths).A. Louisiana, Arkansas, OklahomaB. West Virginia, Carolina, MarylandC. Maine, Alaska, HawaiiD. North and South Dakota2. When they bite, what percent of the time do snakes inject venom?You didn't answer this question.You answered The correct answer is A snake can control the amount of venom it injects. In 50 to 70 percent of bites, the snake does NOT inject venom. It is not possible to tell immediately if a snake has injected venom, so all snakebites should be treated as an emergency. Even if no poison was injected, the bite can become infected with bacteria that can cause tetanus, cellulitis, or gangrene.A. Less than 10 percentB. 10 to 20 percentC. 30 to 50 percentD. 100 percent3. When are venomous snakes safe to handle?You didn't answer this question.You answered The correct answer is All venomous snakes are able to inject poison from birth and should be treated as dangerous. The venom of a small or immature snake may be even more concentrated than that of larger ones. A dead snake can bite for up to an hour after death from reflex.A. When they are babiesB. When they are asleepC. When they are deadD. None of the above4. There are two varieties of coral snakes: eastern and western. The bite of the eastern coral snake is considered deadly. In which states would you be likely to find the eastern coral snake?You didn't answer this question.You answered The correct answer is The eastern coral snake is found in the Southeastern United States and northern Mexico. It is a burrowing snake that lives in pine woods, near ponds or streams, under leaves or mulch, and in logs or stumps. The western coral snake is rare and is found in the Southwestern United States.A. Maryland, VirginiaB. Alabama, MissouriC. North Carolina, GeorgiaD. West Virginia, Ohio5. If a snake bites you, or someone you are with, what things are important to observe and remember?You didn't answer this question.You answered The correct answer is If you know what the snake looked like, it may help determine whether it was venomous. How many times the snake bit and how the bites felt also can help identify the snake; that information also can indicate the amount of venom that may have been injected. It is also important to remember such symptoms as numbness, nausea, or tingling around the mouth; a metallic taste in the mouth; muscle cramps; trouble breathing; and dizziness. None or all of these symptoms may occur. Seek medical attention as soon as possible. Call 911 or your local emergency medical services.A. How many times the snake bitB. How the bite felt (painful or painless)C. What the snake looked likeD. All of the above6. What does the bite of a rattlesnake look like?You didn't answer this question.You answered The correct answer is The bite of a rattlesnake looks like two puncture wounds.A. A small circle that is red in the centerB. There is usually no markC. A scratchD. None of the above7. What does the bite of a coral snake look like?You didn't answer this question.You answered The correct answer is The bite of the coral snake usually looks like scratch marks and is easy to miss.A. A small circle that is red in the centerB. There is usually no markC. A scratchD. None of the above8. The venom injected by rattlesnakes causes which of the following reactions?You didn't answer this question.You answered The correct answer is Generally speaking, the venom from a rattlesnake causes swelling around the area of the bite; if a large amount of venom is injected, other symptoms can occur. The amount of swelling depends on the amount of venom injected. Victims who have small body mass (such as children or elderly) or heart, kidney, or lung problems will be less able to cope with the venom from any snakebite. Bites on the trunk, neck, and face are more serious because the venom can spread faster through the bloodstream. Most bites occur on the arms and legs. Bites that puncture a blood vessel can cause death quickly.A. The victim's body bloats and turns redB. The victim dies within a few minutes of the biteC. There is swelling at the site of the bite, if venom was injectedD. The victim gets very sleepy and slips into a coma9. Which snake has the least potent venom?You didn't answer this question.You answered The correct answer is These aggressive snakes are native to the Southeastern United States. They live near water. Their venom is not as potent as the rattlesnake, cobra, or coral snake, but their bite should be considered serious.A. RattlesnakeB. CobraC. Coral snakeD. Water moccasin (cottonmouth)10. First aid for snakebite should include which of the following?You didn't answer this question.You answered The correct answer is In recent years, the advice for first aid for snakebites has changed. Here are some dos and don'ts from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC):
  • Do remove jewelry on the affected limb.
  • Do notice the time of the bite and the time symptoms develop.
  • Do keep the bitten limb below the heart.
  • Do get to a hospital or other medical help as soon as possible.
  • Do try and remember the color and shape of the snake.
  • DO NOT attempt to trap the snake or delay medical treatment attempting to identify the snake.
  • DO NOT apply a tourniquet, because it could stop arterial blood flow and cause more tissue damage.
  • DO NOT apply cold compresses or ice, because this treatment could cause tissue damage.
  • DO NOT cut into the site of a bite with a knife or razor.
  • DO NOT try to suction the venom by sucking on the wound with your mouth.
  • DO NOT give the victim anything to eat or drink.
A. Avoid unnecessary activity and try to immobilize the part of the body that was bittenB. Quickly transport the person the nearest hospital or other medical care facilityC. Remain calm; chances for survival are excellentD. All of the above11. What can you do to lower your risk for being bitten?You didn't answer this question.You answered The correct answer is The best advice when you see a snake, the FDA says, is to leave it alone. Don't pick it up, try to get a closer look at it, or kill it. When hiking, stay on trails or paths. Be careful where you place your feet and hands, particularly around rocks and wood debris.A. Catch any snakes you see on a hike and move them off the trailB. Kill any snakes you see on a hikeC. Wear thick leather boots when hiking through tall grassD. None of the aboveYour score was:
Print Source: Created for Vitality magazine
Print Source: Ahmed, SM. Emergency Treatment of a Snake Bite: Pearls from Literature. Journal of Emergencies, Trauma, and Shock (2008); 1(2); pp.s97-s105
Online Source: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Venomous Snakeshttp://www.cdc.gov/niosh/topics/snakes/
Online Source: University of FLorida IFAS Extension. Emergency Snake Bite Action Planhttp://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/pdffiles/UW/UW22600.pdf
Online Source: American College of Emergency Physicians Foundation. What to do in a Medical Emergency Snakebiteshttp://www.emergencycareforyou.org/EmergencyManual/WhatToDoInMedicalEmergency/Default.aspx?id=1134
Author: Floria, Barbara
Online Editor: Metzger, Geri
Online Medical Reviewer: Gomez, Wanda, RN, PhD
Online Medical Reviewer: newMentor subject matter expert, a board-certified, academically affiliated clin
Date Last Reviewed: 4/24/2013