Toddler Airlifted to Hospital After Being Bitten By Rattlesnake

A toddler was listed in stable condition on Wednesday, after being bit by a rattlesnake while she was playing in her backyard, a hospital spokeswoman said.

The girl was taken to UCSF Benifoff Children's Hospital in Oakland on Tuesday about 8 p.m. 

Emergency crews were called to the home after her parents called saying she may have been suffering from an allergic reaction to a rattlesnake, which sunk its teeth into her in the 2900 block of Rio Verde in Pittsburg, where the weather is hot, fire season is underway and the drought has caused all sorts of animals to seek water.

Contra Costa County Fire Dept. Battalion Chief Josh Andrews said the 2-year-old girl was playing in the backyard when she was bitten by the rattler, which they bottled up and took to the hospital to make sure the girl gets the right anti-venom serum. Crews went to her home and wheeled her to a helicopter. Video taken at the scene shows a firefighter stroking her back. She was alert and wearing diapers.

Neighbor Harwant Singh said he didn't even know there were rattlesnakes in the area and hearing about the girl made him "really scared. I thought it was a garden snake, so I didn't think it was a big deal" at first. He knew something was up, though, when the helicopter landed in his neighborhood.

Sana Fahim also was frightened by the bite. She has three children and now says she won't let them outside to play for fear of the snakes unless they are supervised by an adult.

Andrews cautioned the public to clear their shrubs. "As it starts to warm up and those animals start ot come out, we want to make sure we clear the weeds away from our house for the fire danger and snakes that are out here this time of year."

NBC Bay Area's Art Ray, Tim Bollinger and Lisa Fernandez contributed to this report.

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