As the weather gets nicer, plenty of parents and grandparents will be sending the little ones out to play in the yard. And that's why one Texas man is sharing a terrifying photo of a backyard discovery. After turning over a toddler's toy vehicle, parents found a snake curled up, hiding underneath!
Texas public figure Sid Miller shared the alarming photo on Facebook as a reminder for parents and grandparents to check their kid's outdoor toys for snakes.
And sadly, the McClane family of Arkansas know the importance of this warning firsthand.
A Hidden Danger
Josh McClane was outside playing with his son Judson and daughter Jasmine. Judson went to go play with his toy dump truck. And that's when Josh heard the 3-year-old scream.
"I figured it was an ant or maybe a wasp," Josh recalls.
But it was something much more deadly.
A snake was hiding beneath the toy truck -- a venomous cottonmouth, often referred to as a water moccasin. It bit Judson on the leg when he turned the truck over, and the boy's terrified dad immediately rushed him to the hospital.
"He was in severe pain when we got there, the second day the same - but they took care of him the right way," Josh said.
The snake bite could have easily proved deadly. But God still had plans for this little boy!
WATCH: Judson’s dad talks about his son’s snake bite
It took 16 vials of anti-venom, but doctors were able to save the 3-year-old boy. He is healed and doing just fine. And his story is just another reason to be sure an adult is checking any outdoor toys before allowing children to play with them.
Here are some tips for avoiding snakes in your yard and garden:
1) Rodents Attract Snakes:
Snakes eat rodents, small reptiles, and birds. So, keep bird feeders and nesting boxes away from the house, and work to reduce the rodent population.
2) Snakes Are Attracted To Moisture:
Irrigation is great for lawns, but also for attracting snakes. If you keep your lawn and/or garden watered, you'll likely attract frogs, lizards, birds, and rodents, which attract snakes. Be careful around well-watered, mulched areas (such as shrub beds and vegetable gardens) -- these offer cool shelter for snakes in summer.
3) Avoid Snake Habitat:
Snakes love damp, cool, protected areas. Keep an eye out for them near rocky streams, wooded areas, retaining walls, garages, or anyplace creating cave like conditions. Move any debris or wood piles far away from your house. Screen off areas underneath porches and crawl spaces to keep snakes out.
4) Snake Behavior:
In early spring, snakes tend to be sluggish when they first come out of hibernation, and in late fall when they’re getting ready to sleep again. They may be too inactive to move out of the way or warn you before striking during these times. In the warmer months, snakes are more active and fast-moving. So, you may get more warning before they strike, but they can also be more energetic and aggressive.
5) Use Caution:
Carefully check areas and items in a yard that could possibly have a snake underneath. Use a pole, and lift the item towards you, so that the object will be between you and the snake. If you lift it away from you, the snake – if there is one – is more likely to run over your foot!
6) Give A Heads Up:
Snakes don’t hear well. However, they’re great at picking up vibrations. Make plenty of noise when hiking or working outdoors, so that neither of you is startled.
Be sure to share this story to remind others to watch out for snakes in their yards!