CHINO HILLS, Calif. (KABC) --A 3-year-old girl is in critical but stable condition after she was bitten by a snake in Chino Hills on Tuesday.
The girl was walking along a local trail when a snake bit her in the left knee, said officials with the Chino Valley Fire District. The incident occurred shortly before 9:30 a.m. near Soquel Canyon Road and Pipeline Avenue.
Paramedics arrived and the girl was airlifted to Loma Linda University Medical Center.
A hospital spokesperson told Eyewitness News that the little girl remains in critical but stable condition.
Officials said the girl was with a daycare group out on a nature walk.
"The smaller the patient is, the more dangerous it is. It's a size issue," explained Billy Hayes, a snake expert with Loma Linda University.
It was not immediately clear what kind of snake bit the girl, but Chino Valley Fire District officials said the chance of coming across rattlesnakes increase as temperatures climb.
Authorities warned people to back away when they see a snake and never try to touch it or scare it away. They also said snakes seek warmer areas when it is cool and seek cooler areas when it is warm.
This is why people should be cautious around areas with high brush or when stepping over logs or fallen trees, officials said.
If bitten by a snake, emergency officials advise the following steps:
- Do not panic. Remain calm and slowly move away from the snake.
- Call 911 immediately or send someone for help.
- Keep the bite at or below heart level.
- Do not apply a cold pack, tourniquet, cut the bite or attempt to suck out the venom.
- Do not attempt to catch or kill the snake. Do try to remember what the snake looked like.
- Take note of the time the bite occurred, if possible.