Snakes are simply a part of the Australian bush and there seems to be more and more sightings of snakes near creeks and on bike paths where families tread regularly. But as much as we might fear them, snakes aren’t out there waiting to attack us. They are generally doing their own thing (basking in the sun!) and will only strike if they feel threatened. By respecting and understanding snakes a bit better, we can keep our families safe when out in the bush.
As a parent, it’s hard not to freak out when you see a snake so it’s important to be prepared and to also teach your kids some basic safety rules to follow. These are the rules and procedures we follow at bush playgroup to keep snake safe.
We have been fortunate to see these beautiful creatures at our bush playgroups and the kids have practised their snake safety rules really well. We talk a lot about snakes, and we remind them at the beginning of each session our rules. It’s important as a parent that you reinforce that as well.
1. Always be ALERT when in the bush. Look ahead and where you are stepping.
2. Stick to wide paths and tracks only.
3. Do NOT walk through long grass or let your child run ahead.
4. Check behind logs. Do NOT step over logs; instead, step on them in case there is a snake on the other side.
5. Snakes can hear vibrations, not sounds so make sure you practice STOMPING, really hard! Make a game of it with the kids.
6. Wear boots that cover your ankles and long pants.
7. Be careful of what you pick up or turn over. Snakes can be under rocks and under logs. Turn it outwards, away from you, instead in inwards.
If you do happen to come across a snake on your walk, follow these 3 simple steps.
- Yell out SNAKE!
- Back away quietly.
- ALERT others.
Remember that snakes are a protected species and it is illegal to capture or kill them. Always have a first aid kit with you at all times and make sure you are up to date with your first aid and snake bite treatment.
All Eco Explorers facilitators are trained in first aid and carry first aid kits with them at all times.