Snakebites on the rise in the Kansas City area, says poison control center

KANSAS CITY, Mo. - A 5-year-old girl bitten this week by a rattlesnake is one of 11 people bitten by snakes so far this year.

The rattlesnake was 200 feet from Trace Wilkerson's auto shop. He knows now that his daughter, Kaitlin, likely stepped on it.

“That's what everyone's telling me from the position of the mark when she put her weight on it, it struck at the first thing it felt and that was her little heel,” he said.

Kaitlin's been at Children's Mercy Hospital for three days, but new video shows she’s feeling much better. She’s singing and wiggling around in her hospital bed.

“She's getting some of her range of motion back. She's getting to where she can lift her leg, she can move her little toes better and she can move her little ankle better," her father said. "She's doing good in that way.”

But she doesn’t plan to go near snakes anytime soon.

“Take this for what it's worth, she won't allow the word snake to be even said in that room,” said Wilkerson.

Snakebite season begins for the Kansas City area in June, according to the Poison Control Center at the University of Kansas Hospital. The center's director said they've had more reports of snakebites every year. That’s why the hospital is launching a "snakebite center."

“That is in response to I think this trend of perhaps seeing a lot more snake bites every year," said Stephen Thornton, director of the center.

Last year, snakes bit 65 people in the Kansas and Missouri area. That was about 20 more than the year before.

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