Oklahoma Boy, 4, Needed Five Bags of Antivenom After Rattlesnake Attack

An Oklahoma boy has been given five bags of antivenom after a rattlesnake bit him while playing outside.

Jesse Teel, 4, was bitten by a venomous pygmy rattlesnake on his foot as he played at his home in Okemah, News9 reported.

Pygmy rattlesnake bites are rarely fatal for adults. But bites in children, and other vulnerable individuals, can be extremely dangerous, meaning medical attention is required immediately.

It is currently the tail end of rattlesnake season in the U.S. The snakes are most active in the warm weather as they are cold blooded. Okemah is currently experiencing highs of 99 degrees Fahrenheit.

"They're everywhere right now. I know they're out and it could happen anywhere," the boy's mother, Emily Teel, told News9.

Teel said her son had been playing in an area where there was no grass, meaning she "didn't really think anything of it."

Her son then began screaming, "Snake! It bit me." Teel did not have time to process what was happening before she sprang into action. Teel told News9 that as soon as he was bitten, it was like "mom mode" kicked in.

Rattlesnake
A stock photo shows a pygmy rattlesnake. An Oklahoma boy was bitten on the ftot. Dan Rieck/Getty

"I washed it off and you could immediately see the bite marks," she told News9. "Seeing him and not knowing what the venom is going to do to this body, it's just an unknown feeling [...] By the time we got to the hospital you could see swelling and bruising already."

Medical staff treated the boy with five bags of antivenom. He was kept in the hospital for a few days before he was released. A check-up the next morning, however, showed his platelet levels were dropping, meaning he was readmitted.

After further observation, his mother told News9 he is doing much better.

"It's an unreal feeling and uneasy it kind of makes your stomach just drop," Teel told the news outlet. "He seems to be doing awesome so we're glad."

After her son was bitten, Teel went looking for the snake and killed it.

Rattlesnakes will not usually bite a person unless directly provoked. But as they often slither into residential areas, accidental conflicts inevitably occur.

Children are often bitten by snakes after accidentally stepping on them, while playing outside. In warmer months, when snakes are most active, children are also more likely to bare barefoot or wearing open toed shoes. Feet, and ankles are common areas for bites to occur.

Teel is urging other families to be vigilant about looking out for the snakes for the remainder of the snake season.