Rattlesnake safety tips for those enjoying the hot weather - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Rattlesnake safety tips for those enjoying the hot weather

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YAKIMA, WA - The hot summer weather makes for perfect outdoor activities, and in our area, many of our common outdoor spots are home to rattlesnakes.

"All the river valleys have them: Naches, Klicitat, Tieton, Yakima River...if you drive up Canyon Road you'll see them on the road," Dr. Brueggemann tells us. He says it's important to avoid them, and the best way to do that is by staying aware of your surroundings.

"Don't wear headphones," he warns those wanting to enjoy the nice weather. "They just want to warn you so there's not an interaction. Be careful going through brush areas. Taking a look around, you can see dry brush and grass surrounding this area of Cowiche Canyon, and it's places like this where rattlesnakes live, making it very easy for them to interrupt a hike."

And if you can't avoid the snake and end up getting bit, Dr. Brueggemann says to be aware of folk remedies and stay calm.

"There's a lot of folk remedies, I've even seen kits, to cut wounds, and suction cups...there is zero medical legitimacy to that, you're likely to make it worse. Stay calm first; if you get your heart rate up, blood starts pumping more and it spreads the poison quicker," Dr. Brueggemann says.

And although 25% of bites are non-venomous, you should always leave the remedies to medical professionals.