Venomous Copperhead Snake Bites 2-year-old in South Carolina Front Yard: 'We Couldn't Stop It'

A 2-year-old child was rushed to hospital in South Carolina last week after being bitten on the leg by a venomous copperhead snake in his front yard. The attack, which occurred last Wednesday in Horry County, left the young victim with two fang marks that quickly turned into dark bruising and discoloration.

The child was given multiple doses of antivenom by experts at the Medical University of South Carolina and is now recovering at the family home.

But his guardians said they want to warn other parents to be vigilant when letting their kids out to play, as it's never certain what's lurking in the grass.

Gregory Johnson, the child's father, told local media outlet WMBF the snake bite happened as they were walking along their home's driveway in the direction of the car, which had been parked on a grass patch.

Describing the incident, Johnson said: "[The snake] struck him in the back of the leg and I handed him off to his mother and we saw in the light the two fang marks. I took my light and saw that it was a copperhead and we rushed him to the hospital as fast as we could."

WMBF reported medical professionals at Conway Medical Center initially sent him home after a period of monitoring and a dose of Benadryl, an antihistamine. But the child was taken back to hospital the next morning after the coloring of the boy's lower leg appeared to worsen.

The victim was then given multiple doses of the antivenom Crofab. According to WCNC, the boy remained in the Charleston-based hospital for a couple of days before being released. Despite now being home, the child's mother, Taylor Gibson, is hesitant to let him outside.

"I'm still terrified to let him out in the grass,"Gibson told WMBF this week, noting that her son's treatment is ongoing. "I'm not comfortable with him going to play yet, but who would?

"Because even though he was one step ahead of him and one step behind him, we couldn't stop it. It's just, you never know. You should, and if they get in the playsets, in the cars, in the toys. I'm looking in the area under our porch because he could get under our ledge."

Copperhead snake
Photograph showing a close-up, profile view of the brown and tan patterned head and eye of a juvenile, venomous, Southern copperhead snake. Smith Collection/Gado/Getty

There are dozens of species of snake in South Carolina, six of which are venomous, according to the Department of National Resources (DNR). Those are the copperhead, cottonmouth, eastern diamondback, timber rattlesnake, pigmy rattlesnake and the coral snake.

"Many of our snake species use camouflage to protect themselves from predators or to catch their prey," the University of Georgia's ecology lab says online, noting the state's venomous snakes are quite secretive. "Accidentally stepping on or grabbing a snake can communicate to that animal that you are trying to harm it, resulting in an aggressive response," it adds.

Experts gave this advice on bites: "Do not drink or eat anything including alcohol, stimulants or medicine. Do not run, but stay still and calm. Get to a hospital as quickly as possible."