Pregnant mom sucks rattlesnake venom from 4-year-old's foot, not a good idea

A very pregnant Northern California mom is getting attention for her quick instincts after her 4-year-old son was bitten by a rattlesnake. But state wildlife officials say what she did was dangerous.

Jaclyn Caramazza and her family were walking on a bike trail in Folsom over the weekend when her son Vinny stepped on a baby rattlesnake, KTXL-TV reported. The snake quickly coiled up.


Minutes later, Vinny's foot turned purple and began to swell. Caramazza removed her son's shoes and found two puncture marks.

Nine months pregnant, this mother sprang into action.

"Mama Bear instinct in me decided to suck the venom because that's what Bonanza does," she told KTXL.

Vinny was taken to an area hospital and is doing well.

But trying to suck out venom with your mouth is a bad idea, state wildlife officials say.

"That's an absolute 'do not do,'" said Warden Chris Stoots of the California Department of Fish and Wildlife, because of the risk for the person sucking out the poison of becoming ill.

There are venom-suction devices that help remove the poison, Stoots said, but few people carry them when hiking.

According to Fish and Wildlife, if possible, a rattlesnake bite should be washed gently with soap and water. Rinsing with water alone also will do.

The bite victim should be kept calm and rushed to the hospital and the wound site should be kept below heart level.

Most snake bites occur when people accidently step on or try to touch a snake, Stoots said.

Attempt to move or kill a snake, Stoots said, and in most cases "you'll lose."

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