The child was taken to Eglin Regional Hospital, where he received anti-venom before being flown by medical helicopter to the Pensacola trauma center.
WENDY VICTORA @WendyVnwfdn
EGLIN AFB — A child is recovering at Sacred Heart Hospital in Pensacola after being bitten by a venomous snake at a local daycare center.
The child, whose name and age were not released, was playing outside Child Development Center #2 on Boatner Road when he bent down and picked up the snake.
The snake, which was captured and is still alive, was a juvenile water moccasin, which is also known as a cottonmouth, according to Eglin Public Affairs Director Andy Bourland. He said the 10-12 inch snake was a reddish color and blended with the surface.
The incident occurred at about 9:30 a.m. Monday. The child was taken to Eglin Regional Hospital, where he received anti-venom before being flown by medical helicopter to the Pensacola trauma center at 1 p.m.
Bourland said the base already has a number of protocols in place to safeguard against incidents like these and that the Civil Engineering Group is looking at adding additional safety measures, including netting to help prevent similar incidents in the future.
The cottonmouth is a pit viper that can grow to 5 feet long, according to information from the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission. Most found in Florida are about 3 feet long.
“Cottonmouths are the only venomous water snake in Florida and are found along stream banks, in swamps, margins of lakes and in tree-bordered marshes,” according to the FWC website. “When this snake coils, it can lunge out in a fast strike to embed its venom-carrying fangs.”
In August 2015, a 14-year-old Navarre boy was bitten by a cottonmouth while fishing in East Bay. He received eight doses of antivenom and recovered, though he was hospitalized in the intensive care unit for more than a day, according to news accounts.