HIDDEN HILLS (CBS) — Seven-year-old Mikah Kainine is stuck in a hospital bed, unable to walk, after being bit by a rattlesnake while playing in his family’s backyard Saturday.
“Well, there was a snake and it bit me,” said Mikah, who told CBS2 that the pain spread from the bite in his leg to the rest of his body.
Once bitten, he didn’t run. He stepped in to save his 2-year-old brother, Joseph, when he began crawling towards the snake.
His mother, Jennifer Kainine, was in the backyard of their Hidden Hills home when she heard the unforgettable swoosh of the serpent’s tail. The house is situated against a mountainside.
“I look at him. I’m terrified because the sound is going constant (imitates sound of rattlesnake tail), constant,” said Jennifer, who immediately got her children in the car and headed to the hospital.
Doctors say rattlesnake venom can take hours to spread through the body. If not treated immediately it can be fatal.
Mikah has been given 25 vials of anti-venom. His leg is swollen and he can barely move his toes.
“He was very lucky,” said Dr. Cesar Chavarria, of Providence Tarzana Medical Center. He said it will take the boy months of physical therapy before he can walk again.
Doctors say parents can take steps to prevent snakes from settling around their home.
“Make sure that there is not a lot of dead vegetation or piles of debris because the snakes like to hide in places where they like to feel safe,” Chavarria said.
Mikah’s mother suggests parents keep an eye on their children while they play outside.
Rattlesnake bites are more prevalent in the summer months. Doctors say if a person is bitten they should immediately go to the hospital for anti-venom treatment.
For information on making yards snake-safe, click here.