Wimmera Health Care Group has warned the community to watch out for snakes after an 11 year old girl was bitten at a Grampians farm.

Heidi Kane was spending Monday afternoon playing with friends on her father’s Illawarra property when she was bitten on her leg. She was rushed to Horsham’s Emergency Department and later discharged.

Heidi’s father Luke Kane said snakes were prevalent on their property.

“I see snakes all the time on this property and they are always either tiger or brown snakes,” Mr Kane said.

“I’m a keen cyclist and almost every time I go for a ride, I see them. There are lots of baby snakes along our driveway at the moment.”

Mr Kane said he was working in the shed on Monday afternoon when Heidi came back from climbing trees with her friends.

“She had felt a bit of pain after returning from the boundary fence area and she said ‘Dad, I think something has bitten me’.

“I looked at her leg and saw the bite marks then went straight into first aid mode,” he said.

“We live on the edge of a state park about six kilometres from Stawell so the ambulance was here in 10 minutes and by then I had already taped up the wound.

“Within 45 minutes of her being bitten, we were in the Emergency Department at Horsham.”

Mr Kane was high in his praise of both the ambulance crew and the team in ED.

“The emergency staff and all the nurses were very attentive to both myself and Heidi from the moment we arrived,” he said.

“I really appreciated that the doctors were up front, open and communicative about Heidi’s condition and the bedside manner was lovely and caring for little Heidi.”

Heidi was told the snake had only injected a very small amount of venom so she would not require any antivenin. She was kept under observation before being discharged later that evening.
Mr Kane said he had often promoted to anyone visiting his property that it was more important to wear gumboots in the Summer.

“I like snakes but you have to be respectful of them and wearing boots is a good safety measure.”

WHCG Emergency Nurse Unite Manager Odette Richards warned the community to be wary of snakes now.

“We’ve already had several presentations for snake bite at ED so people need to be vigilant,” she said.

Ms Richards said a pressure bandage with immobilisation was recommended first aid for a potential snake bite.

“Bandaging should start at the bite site and cover the entire limb but it is also important to ring 000 as soon as possible.”

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