Snake bites girl, eight, at family Easter picnic near Birmingham

The girl had to be given an intravenous infusion of anti-venom serum (Picture: BPM)

A girl had to be taken to hospital in an ambulance after she was bitten by a snake on a family picnic to celebrate Easter.

The eight-year-old, who has not been named, was on a day out over the bank holiday when she noticed the venomous adder, close to her home in Birmingham.

She reached her hand out as she was curious about the creature, and it then struck.

Her hand began to swell, and doctors decided to give her two IVs of anti-venom serum to prevent further harm.

The family had been out at Kinver Edge, a beauty spot in the Midlands owned by the National Trust famous for its heath, woodland, and cave houses built into sandstone.

Her dad David Rathbone said: ‘She had been alerted to the snake’s presence by one of our party, and being a plucky girl, she investigated the striking-looking reptile with her finger.

‘Unusually, the snake did not retreat but struck at her finger.

The adder which bit her on an Easter picnic yesterday

The adder which bit her on an Easter picnic yesterday (Picture: BPM Media)

‘She gave out a ‘yelp’, at which point I grabbed her hand and sucked hard at the wound on the tip of her index finger. The snake still did not retreat.

‘The snake also struck at my hand forcing me to whip my hand out of range.

When she said her hand was painful and he saw it beginning to swell, he drove them both to Kidderminster hospital.

While they were at at the minor injuries unit there, her whole hand had begun to swell.

‘The staff acted swiftly, binding her hand and lower arm,’ David said. ‘Then they took the decision to whisk us under blue lights to Birmingham Children’s Hospital where serum was stored.’

He continued: ‘She was taken into the resuscitation unit. She was in fine spirits throughout, being a very brave girl, until she received an intravenous infusion of anti-venom serum, which made her quite ill as it’s a strong drug.

The girl was transferred to Birmingham Children's Hospital in an ambulance

The girl was transferred to Birmingham Children’s Hospital in an ambulance (Picture: BPM Media)

Her fingers swelled up after the bite

Her fingers swelled up after the bite (Picture: BPM Media)

‘After a tetanus jab, she was kept under close observation. A second intravenous infusion was administered at about 1am today.

‘She is now feeling fine, if not a little fed up at missing out on a planned Easter egg hunt, while she remains under observation at the hospital.’

Thankfully, the girl is now doing well and is expected to be able to go back to Kings Heath school after the holidays as planned.

Mr Rathbone added: ‘This is a very rare event, and the snake’s behaviour quite bizarre, perhaps triggered by the sudden change in weather to this warm spell. I hope this alerts walkers using similar bracken heathlands.’

Adders are the UK’s only venomous snakes. Their bites can be painful and cause inflammation, but are generally only seriously dangerous to those who are very young or old, or who are already unwell.

However, medical attention should be sought immediately after a bite.

According to the Wildlife Trust, they generally hibernate between October and March, are usually greyish with a dark and distinct zig-zag pattern down its back, and a red eye. They grow to be up to 80cm long.

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