SECURITY-WIDEFIELD, Colo. — A 6-year-old boy died six days after he was bit by a rattlesnake at Bluestem Prairies Open Space in Security-Widefield.
Around 8 p.m. on July 5, the boy was riding bikes on a trail with his father and younger sister when he got off his bike to look at a milemarker. On his way back, he encountered a rattlesnake and was bit, according to Security Fire Department Battalion Chief Derek Chambers.
""He yelled, "Rattlesnake!" And then that's when the dad dropped everything and ran over to him. And we believe then that's when the bite occurred," Chambers said.
The boy's father did not have his cell phone at the time and stopped a passerby to call 911. Fire crews arrived roughly five minutes later, and the boy was taken by ambulance to Colorado Springs Children's Hospital, according to Chambers.
The boy succumbed to his injuries Monday.
Although rattlesnakes are common near the trail, Chambers says the death is the first he's seen in his 12 years with the department and in the area.
"Responding to kids is the worst part of our job. If it's anything that has to do with a kid, that automatically pushes us into a different demeanor, really," he said.
Travis Sauder, Colorado Parks and Wildlife assistant area wildlife manager, says now is the peak activity time for rattlesnakes in Colorado.
"They're not necessarily going to come after you, they just want to be left alone," said Sauder. "Most rattlesnakes will rattle to let you know that they're there. However, they rely on their camouflage."
CPW says to always be aware of your surroundings and stick to the trails. In case of a bite, CPW says do not use a tourniquet or try to suck out the venom.
"The best thing you can do — keep the bit limb below your heart, and then take off anything that might constrict blood flow, so rings, watches, wristband, things like that. And then get to a medical provider as quick as possible," said Sauder.