11Alive/YouTube and Kate Gardner Foust/Facebook
Fall the time of year when an abundance of copperhead snakes enter the world, so those who reside on southern states need to be on the lookout. Just ask one Tennessee mother whose 19-month-old daughter is recovering after being bitten by one of the venomous snakes.
Kate Gardner Foust, an elementary school teacher from Jackson, Tennessee, told WSMV that her toddler, Emmy Joe, was bitten on the ankle by a copperhead that was hiding in her outdoor toys.
“Emmy Joe, my baby, walked up to where her toys were and started screaming. My babysitter looked and said she saw a snake,” Foust said. “She was vomiting, just in a lot of pain. I was holding her, just consoling her, trying to get calm down.”
Emmy Joe’s father at first thought that the snake was non-venomous chicken snake, but found the snake coiled up in her toys and realized immediately that it was a copperhead.
“It being right on our back porch. Right when we stepped outside. It could’ve happened to anybody. We no longer keep any of their toys on the back porch. Nothing is on there,” Foust said.
The Foust’s rushed Emmy Joe to the hospital where she spent two days being treated. She has since returned home and is doing well, although her mom said that her leg is still “a little sensitive.”
Foust shared photos of the snake and her daughter’s injuries along with a warning for other parents.
“Please, please check your kids toys before they go outside to play. This has been a very hard and emotional process for both of us. Seeing your baby in pain knowing their is nothing you can do is one of the hardest things to do as a parent,” Foust wrote.
According to the TRWA, there are more than thirty species of snakes in Tennessee and most are beneficial to the environment. However, there are four venomous snakes to be on the lookout for: Timber Rattlesnake, Pygmy Rattlesnake, Cottonmouth, and Copperhead.
Copperhead venom rarely causes death in humans, but children “may have strong reactions to the venom.” Symptoms can include “shock, low blood pressure and weakness,” according to Healthline.
Watch the video below to find out what you should do if you or someone you know is bitten by a venomous snake.