Venomous Copperhead Snake Bites 2-Year-Old Boy In South Carolina

(Left) Gregory Johnson and Taylor Gibson via WXII 12 News / YouTube/(Right) ScalyAdventures / YouTube

2-year-old Atlas Johnson was simply walking out to the car on Wednesday (October 2) when he was bitten by a venomous copperhead snake. His father, Gregory Johnson, recalled what happened in an interview:

…I stepped off the concrete first, and as soon as Atlas stepped off behind me, he got bit by a snake right here,” Gregory said. “[It] struck him in the back of the leg…we saw in the light the two fang marks. I took my light and saw that it was a copperhead, and we rushed him to the hospital as fast as we could.

Copperhead snakes, although venomous, “are rarely the cause of snake bite fatalities,” according to the Snake Removal Nationwide Service. However, the Service says that the bites can “cause severe damage to the local tissue and can pave the road for serious, secondary infection.”

For someone as young and small as Atlas, the situation was especially scary. Though when he initially went to the hospital, he was kept there for just four hours and was given some Benadryl.

By the following day, the swelling and discoloration on Atlas’ leg looked much worse. His parents decided to take him to the hospital a second time, which was when he was given antivenom. He received two doses in 24 hours.

Atlas is now at home with his family, and his parents are relieved he is doing well after being bitten by the copperhead. Still, his mom, Taylor Gibson, is hesitant to let him go back outside:

I’m not comfortable with him going to play yet, but who would [be]?” Taylor said. “Because even though he was one step ahead of him and one step behind him, we couldn’t stop it.”

You can watch a short news report below to see how Atlas is doing now. Just as a warning, the report shows photos of Atlas’ snakebite, which may disturb some viewers.