Rattlesnake bites 8-year-old girl in Burbank Hills neighborhood

A juvenile rattlesnake.
(Genaro Molina / Los Angeles Times)

A North Hollywood family got a brief scare last month after an 8-year-old girl was bitten by a baby rattlesnake in the Burbank Hills.

Kathryn Campa was visiting her brother in the 3000 block of Trudi Lane on the night of April 23 when, sometime around 9 p.m., she heard her daughter Brooklyn screaming something had bitten her foot.

“I turned on the flashlight on my phone and there was a baby rattlesnake right there coiled next to my car,” Kathryn Campa said. “I see the baby rattlesnake and think right away, ‘oh my gosh,’ they give too much venom because they can’t control it.”

She said the family rushed Brooklyn to an emergency room, and she was then transferred to another hospital with a pediatric intensive-care unit, where she could be monitored overnight.

Hospital staff eventually concluded that the bite Brooklyn received was dry, meaning the snake didn’t release its venom, and that she wasn’t in any further danger.

According to the California Department of Fish and Wildlife, snakes are beginning to awaken from their hibernation as the weather starts to warm up. Snakes are not restricted to wilderness areas and can venture into residential neighborhoods.

Snakes bites are most prevalent between April and October, according to the department.

In the event someone is bitten by a potentially poisonous snake, the department said people should seek immediate medical attention and remove any clothing or jewelry near the bite site that may constrict swelling.

The department also said it’s not advisable to use a tourniquet, ice the wound or attempt to suck out the venom.

Campa said her daughter has since fully recovered from the bite, but there have been some lingering effects.

“She had a nightmare the other night,” she said. “Her first rattlesnake nightmare, a snake was chasing her.”

Twitter: @Andy_Truc