'Ungodly scream' as boy, 8, bitten by brown snake
COUNTRY kid Oscar Root didn't see the brown snake at his door step until he landed on its tail.
The eight-year-old was lucky to be able to tell his snake bite story yesterday while surrounded by family at Toowoomba Hospital.
His mother Myola Root had been with him at their family farm, north of Toowoomba at Pechey, when the snake struck about 7.50am.
Her husband Alan was already at work at Crows Nest State School and their other two children, Shobelle and Elliott, were at swimming training.
Mrs Root was hurrying Oscar to get ready to go to a friend's house when he went outside to use the morning sun to warm up.
She then heard an "ungodly scream".
"I thought he had stubbed his toe on the door," Mrs Root said.
But that was not the case.
The energetic boy had jumped from the back step and landed on the tail of a 50cm brown snake.
It swung around and bit him on the pinkie toe of his right foot.
"It felt like a needle," Oscar said.
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Mrs Root said she knew by the tone the scream something was wrong.
"He stood there, yelled out and said 'mum, I've been bitten by a snake'," Mrs Root said.
Mrs Root gave her son's toe a squeeze and saw blood come out.
She carried him inside, sat him on the kitchen floor and called 000.
A Queensland Ambulance Service call taker talked her through what to do next.
She tightly wrapped her son's leg first in a tea towel and then a sheet.
Paramedics and the RACQ CareFlight helicopter arrived soon after.
Oscar was carried out to the helicopter on their lawn when the snake made another appearance.
Paramedics returning inside the house to collect their equipment said they saw the snake on the doorstep again before it disappeared into a gap in the concrete.
Meanwhile, Mr Root had rushed home from work after being told of the bite.
"Well, it was like someone hit me in the face with a shovel," Mr Root said.
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Mrs Root flew with Oscar to Toowoomba Hospital where blood tests confirmed the snake had not injected any venom.
Oscar had to stay in hospital last night and was hoping to be discharged this morning.
Mr Root said he also saw the snake after the helicopter left his farm, but again the reptile retreated underneath the concrete before he could get to it.
The Roots believed the snake was the same one that their son Elliott had come across in their yard a little more than a week ago.
"We were (being vigilant) because we knew it was there," Mrs Root said.
"We have always told them (children) to be aware of snakes but you can't be with them all of the time.''
She was very grateful for the professionalism of the paramedics, RACQ CareFlight crew and Toowoomba Hospital staff.
Her advice to other parents was to reinforce the need for their children to be aware of snakes.
WHAT TO DO
CareFlight chief medical officer Dr Allan MacKillop offers these simple procedures to follow after any snake bite.
- Immobilise the patient and the limb, wrap a crepe bandage right down the limb and immediately call triple zero.
- Do not to try to kill or capture the snake. It is a misconception that the snake is needed for diagnosis.
- Many people get bitten again trying to kill or capture a snake