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Boy survives Red Bellied Black Snake bite

Author: Craig Adams
Date: Tuesday, February 19, 2013

We all know Mothers are always right! First aid kits are a necessity for any family as is a quality snake bite bandage and the knowledge of how to use it correctly.

Understanding the risks and how to address a snake bite emergency is all our responsibility given that we Aussies share this country with the worlds most venomous snakes. Knowing what to do and what not to do in an emergency and being sufficiently prepared can give parents great peace of mind.

The best first aid kits and snake bite bandages available can be found on our website,


Original story posted on the Yahoo 7News Sydney Website February 18, 2013, 6:00 pm 

Boy survives red-bellied black snake bite

A Sydney mum is urging families to keep a first aid kit handy, after saving her three-year-old son from a snake bite.
Zephaniah Tapara was playing in his backyard when he tried to pick up what's believed to have been a red-bellied black snake.

But with the help of nurses Zephaniah was a much happier boy today, and his mum Michelle was simply relieved. 
He had been playing in the family's yard, in the semi-rural suburb of North Richmond, for only a few minutes.

His mother, Michelle Tapara, said her son ran in from outside, and was clenching his hand.

"He just came in saying 'mum a snake bit me', and i said, what?!"
"He said he tried to pick it up," Ms Tapara said. 
Remembering her dad's advice, Michelle knew to get a compression bandage from the first aid kit.

Zephaniah was taken to Hawkesbury Hospital and then on to Westmead Children's Hospital.

"What happens with the snake bite [is] the venom goes around the system and then can cause all sorts of bleeding problems, heart problems, muscle problems and kidney problems," Dr Mary McCaskill said.

But Zephaniah's mum's first aid stopped the venom spreading.

Red-bellied black snake bites generally aren't fatal to adults, but they can make children very sick.
"He's very lucky, very lucky that it was this particular snake that he did as well as he did," Dr McCaskill said.

Each year in New South Wales there are around 300 snake bite cases, but they are rare among children; with only 14 emergency cases at Westmead in the last five years. 
Michelle Tapara says she's grateful to the hospitals, and for the help from Triple-zero, but she's urging others to keep a first aid kit. While Zephaniah is getting a refresher course in leaving things alone.

New Website

Author: Craig Adams
Date: Thursday, March 22, 2012


SSSAFE has grown and it is time for our homepage to reflect all the services we now offer.

In addition to our invaluable Snake and Spider Safety Seminars, SSSAFE has developed specialised Corporate Presentations that takes an entirely original approach to empathic leadership…with impact!

SSSAFE has also specifically designed an innovative and professional 2 day Snake Handling Course for industry groups, governmental bodies and emergency services that have a legitimate demand for the safe relocation or capture of snakes.

We continue working closely with our OH&S consultant, BridgeSafe, to provide Snake Hazard Assessments and recommendations to NSW Government.

SSSAFE is also proud to announce our partnership with Survival First Aid to advance the safety options available to SSSAFE clients. See our First Aid Kit store for more details.

We will still be having serious fun ‘out bush’ as field ecologists and animal wranglers for Wildlife Documentary and Commercial Filmmakers and Ecological Consultancy groups. We’ll be doing this forever!

Please feel free to browse our new site to see what’s on offer. We hope you enjoy it.


The floodwaters sweeping through NSW are forcing snakes and spiders, to any high ground available to them. There are reports of snakes flushed out and exposed by the floods being killed rather mercilessly. In my experience, snakes that find themselves in such a predicament are forced to share crowded island refuges with other displaced wildlife and they tend to lose some of their usual defensive behaviour. They have to wait it out like all the rest of us…

Let’s not forget snakes are protected wildlife. Killing them is unnecessary and dangerous.

Craig, SSSAFE director, has been involved with some fascinating projects of late starting with Gregory Colbert’s, internationally renowned wildlife photographer (, Australian Tour last year, culminating in a wildly successful field trip to the QLD channel Country to film Fierce Snakes for the BBC’s Deadly 60 Series, staring Steve Backshall, pictured below with cameraman and a very healthy Fiercy.

The doco should be on ABC this year. We will keep you posted.

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