The weather is heating up, and poisonous desert critters are coming out of hibernation to enjoy it. The Banner Good Samaritan Poison and Drug Information Center receives more than 12,000 calls each year about people who have been bitten or stung by scorpions, rattlesnakes, spiders and other venomous creatures.

When you are outdoors, remember to wear long pants and lace-up leather shoes or boots that cover the ankles, and don’t handle, touch or play with snakes or other critters. Walk around them if you can. A long walking stick can be a good hiking companion. It can be used in an emergency to move a snake out of bite range. Bite range is between one-quarter to one-half the length of the snake’s body.

Also, step on top of rocks or logs to get a clear view of what’s on the other side before stepping down, and don’t place your hands where you can’t see.

Call poison control immediately at 800-222-1222 if you are bitten or stung by a desert critter. The call center staff can talk you through proper treatment and dispatch paramedics for you, when necessary.


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