Child recovering from copperhead bite

Wednesday, June 4, 2014; News 12 at 11 o'clock

AUGUSTA, GA (WRDW) -- A 5 year-old is recovering at Doctor's Hospital from a copperhead snake bite, but doctors say he'll be just fine thanks to his parents' quick thinking.

"If it wasn't a poisoning snake I wouldn't even be here," said Kesslar Seamon as he sat in his hospital bed hooked up to an iv. He was at the lake Monday with his family when the copperhead bit him in the toe.

His mother said he was walking to his grandmother's camper a few spaces over when she heard him scream. He told them a snake bit him, and when they noticed it was light brown, Mom put him in the car. Dad "took care of the snake" and was able to confirm it was a copperhead with the Park Ranger.

Dr. Doug Johnson said he had the antivenom ready to go before Kesslar arrived. "He's very lucky that he got care as quickly as he did because he'll make a full recovery." Dr. Johnson also performed surgery to relieve pressure from swelling. "He's a very brave kid," he said. "I don't think he even whimpered once."

Already, Kesslar's ready to go camping again, and so is his family. "My husband and I have been camping since we were married. I want my boys to enjoy life. You can't run from everything."

Experts say you do, however, need to run to the hospital if you suspect you've been bitten by a venomous snake. There are four types of them in our area: the Timber Rattlesnake (also known as the Canebrake), the Pigmy Rattlesnake; the Cottonmouth (also known as the Water Moccasin) and the Southern Copperhead. Doctors say it's always best to have a medical professional look at a bite to determine if you need treatment. The most important thing, however, is that you remain calm. Of course, that's extremely difficult to do, but experts say it could save your life. Venom relies on your circulatory system to spread the poison, and if your heart rate climbs, the venom is able to quickly spread to other areas of your body.

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