Snake bite first aid and other nasties in Australia

Snake bite first aid and other nasties in Australia / Kids First Aid


Dangerous ground

Australia is a country where everyone loves to be outdoors. But we are also a nation which has some of the most venomous snakes in the world. That’s why it pays to know about snake bite first aid and other nasties when it comes to protecting your children and loved ones from danger.

Deadly snakes

We have at least 10 venomous snakes in this vast land – some of their venom is the most toxic in the world and it is potentially deadly if not treated quickly and appropriately. Some of our most dangerous snakes include: the eastern brown snake; the western brown snake; the mainland tiger snake; the Inland taipan and the king brown snake. They can be found close to urban areas and in the bush.

Bites not uncommon

As we are a much urbanised continent, most of us would not know what to do if confronted with a snake during an outing – though this does not mean it is completely unlikely we will encounter a snake or dangerous animal when out and about. Snake bites and bites from other nasties, such as spiders, do occur.

Plan of action

That is why you need a plan of action against a snake bite and this is where first aid comes in. There are public courses available to teach you what you would need to do to save a life.

Invaluable practical information

Our public courses, available in all states and territories, will teach you invaluable information about what to do if bitten by a snake or other venomous animal. Did you know, for example, that an individual might not experience any symptoms of a snake bite for more than an hour? Or were you aware that it is not recommended that you wash the skin or clothes where a bite may have occurred as leaving it intact can help identify the venom?

What you will learn

The course will help you understand how vital it is to act quickly when a snake bite occurs. If you are able to call triple 0 straight away, you will be shown the following steps to take before medical help arrives. This includes:

  • Lie the person down and ask them to keep still;
  • If the bite is on a limb, apply an elasticised roller bandage (10-15 cm wide) – if available – over the bite site as soon as possible. Use clothing or other material if an elasticised roller bandage is not available;
  • Apply another elasticised roller bandage (10-15 cm wide) just above the fingers or toes and moving upwards on the bitten limb as far as can be reached;
  • Apply the bandage as tightly as possible to the limb;
  • Stay with the person until medical aid arrives.

Make sure you know what to do if an emergency occurs for your child. Find out more about all our kids first aid courses here.