WV Poison Center warns of dangers while hiking

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CHARLESTON, WV (WVNS) — Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, more people are out on trails enjoying nature’s beauty, and with warmer weather on the way, wild mushrooms and snakes are likely to appear in the Mountain State.

The West Virginia Poison Center released tips on how you and your family can stay while site-seeing.

“Wild mushrooms may look like the ones enjoyed on salads and pizzas, but they are not guaranteed safe to eat. While some wild mushrooms are edible, some are poisonous. Children may eat mushrooms they find in their yard. Adults have been poisoned after eating mushrooms picked in the wild. Teenagers and adults have been poisoned after using mushrooms to cause hallucinations. The symptoms of mushroom poisonings vary depending on the type of mushroom eaten. However, mushroom poisoning can be fatal,” the release stated.

The West Virginia Poison Center advises against picking up and eating any wild mushrooms.

Timber rattlesnake

If you or someone you know has ate a wild mushroom, reported it immediately to the West Virginia Poison Center at 1-800-222-1222. Do not wait for symptoms to appear.

Venomous snakes can also be another danger one might face while hiking. West Virginia has two kinds of venomous snakes: the timber rattlesnake and northern copperhead.

Here are tips provided by the Poison Center which could help you prevent a snake bite:

  • Avoid walking at not in a wooded area
  • Avoid walking in high grass without adequate lighting
  • Avoid high grass and underbrush at any time unless wearing thick boots up to the knees
  • Look before reaching into rock ledges, tall grass, or other places you cannot see into
  • Avoid sitting or playing on log piles
  • Never approach or kill snakes unnecessarily

However if you do get bitten by a snake, here are things you can do:

  • Immobilize the bitten area and limit use
  • Remove any restricting items, such as rings or bracelets
  • Wash the area with soap and water
  • Transport the person who is bitten to the nearest medical facility
  • Call the West Virginia Poison Center at 1-800-222-1222

Poison Center recommends if you do get bitten by a snake, do not:

  • Apply ice
  • Apply a tourniquet
  • Cut and suck the bitten area
  • Attempt to catch or kill the snake (Dead snake could still bite)

Snake season usually begins in April and ends in October. The Poison Center wants people to use the buddy while out hiker. For more information you can visit their website.

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