Snake Bite: Sleeping Malaysian Toddler Bitten By Deadly Cobra
The deadly creature had been hiding under the mattress...
What we’re about to tell you is the unthinkable, almost like a scene out of a horror movie.
On Monday morning (December 4), two-year-old Muhammad Izz Fayat Sumardi was peacefully sleeping in his Perak home near his mummy. They were both asleep on a mattress kept on the floor.
Izz’s father Sumardi Chek had just got home after work and was hoping to get some sleep himself, when he heard his youngest son wailing.
“He was screaming and crying. When my wife checked his left palm, she saw traces of blood and snake bite marks.
“Panicked, I rushed him to the Raja Permaisuri Bainun Hospital. Izz was crying relentlessly and he was becoming weak as his left hand started turning blue,” he told The New Straits Times.
The tot had been bitten by a vicious cobra measuring almost one metre long. The reptile had been hiding under the mattress according to reports, and was caught by the Malaysian Civil Defence Force, mentioned Sumardi.
Touch-and-go for 24 hours after the snake bite
It was an agonising 24 hours in more ways than one for the entire family, as little Izz struggled through the pain of the cobra venom in his tiny body, despite getting treatment on time.
Sumardi said the little one’s pain was very obvious – he would cry in agony every time was was awake.
But the good news is that he is on his way to getting better.
“I know he was and still is in pain, but ‘Alhamdulillah’, this morning, he could smile and only his left hand is still swollen, up to his elbow. The doctor also informed me that his lungs and kidneys are okay,” added the relieved dad.
What to do if you see a snake or suffer from a snake bite
While this incident happened in neighbouring Malaysia, we all know that Singapore too is home to snakes, with sightings of both cobras and pythons being not that rare.
Here are some tips on keeping your family safe (and away!) from these reptiles.
Snakes in Singapore:
- Most snake sightings in Singapore occur in areas dense with trees. However, this does not mean that the odd snake will not creep into your garden if it is in pursuit of prey. The best way to deter them from entering your home is to keep a neat and tidy garden.
- Avoid piling up grass and leaves in your garden – these spots provide shelter for reptiles.
- Keep in mind that snakes might be attracted to water features like ponds.
- Always keep your dog on a leash in unfamiliar, woody areas.
If you see a snake:
- The advice from ACRES is that if you see a snake in the wild, you should walk away slowly and quietly.
- Do not provoke them – they will attack if they feel threatened.
- Snakes are nocturnal animals, so be aware of this if you are walking or running in woody or grassy areas at night.
- Tell children to avoid poking their hands into drain pipes or other narrow, confined areas – these could be hiding places for snakes.
- Never approach a seemingly dead snake. These creatures are adept at playing dead when they feel threatened.
- If you come across a snake in a built environment (home, a building, road, other confined area), call the Acres 24-hr wildlife rescue hotline: 9783 7782.
Snake bite: Do’s and don’t (from the Department of Emergency Medicine at Singapore General Hospital):
- Call 995 for medical help.
- Keep the victim calm and as still as possible. A semi-reclined position with the bite wound below the level of the heart is best. This will help prevent the venom from spreading to other parts of the body.
- Tie a bandage 2 to 4 inches above the bite wound to slow the spread of venom in the body. If the bite area turns cold or numb, the bandage is too tight. Loosen it.
- Apply a tourniquet, cut the wound or try to suck the venom out.
- Apply ice – this can affect blood circulation.
Stay safe, mums, dads and kids! Remember, just as much as you want to avoid snakes, they want to avoid you too!
Image: Screengrab – CNA