CHARLESTON, S.C. — From copperheads to Cottonmouths, snakes are no mystery to the Carolinas. In June, Carolina Poison Control reported a surge in snake bite calls.
Atrium Health said North Carolina has seen over a 50% increase in venomous bite calls over previous years. In South Carolina, a young boy was recently taken to the hospital after a snake bite.
Just last week, Taylor Gibson's 2-year-old son Atlas Johnson was bitten by a juvenile copperhead snake.
Gibson says it happened in her front lawn when they were walking outside.
"I was very scared, very sad, very confused," Gibson said.
The 2-year-old spent a few days at a hospital in Charleston. He was given anti-venom, an expensive medicine counteracting the poison. It can cost tens of thousands of dollars.
As of Monday, Atlas is doing better -- but Gibson has a warning for other parents: snake bites can happen anywhere, so pay close attention to your feet.
"Check all play equipment, toys, cars that they ride in, no matter how safe you feel like it is," Gibson said.
If a snake does bite you, experts say to stay calm because that can help slow the spread of venom if it's a venomous snake. Then you need to call 911 or local EMS.
"I never want to go through it again in my life, and I don't want it to happen to any more children," Gibson said.
Don't try to suck out the venom, don't apply a tourniquet and don't apply ice or soak the wound in water.
Gibson put her son's journey on social media, and she thanks everyone for the support as he recovers.