Toddler bitten by rattlesnake in Encinitas

ENCINITAS, Calif. - A 1-year-old boy is in intensive care after he was bitten by a rattlesnake in the backyard of his home Wednesday afternoon.

The bite was reported in the 300 block of Chapalita Drive shortly after 4:30 p.m., a NorthComm dispatcher said.

"He was bit on his finger," said neighbor Samantha Jackson. "I don't know if he was reaching for it or what."

Medics airlifted the boy to Rady Children's Hospital in San Diego. His condition was unclear.

Jackson, who lives down the street from the boy's family, said the family moved in a few months ago. There are trails on the back side of the neighborhood, and it is a property that sits right on a preserve.

"There are signs everywhere," said Jackson. "Everyone warns you, if you have a dog... keep him on a leash. Don't let him wonder off."

10News found the signs that mark the hiking paths warning people about the poisonous snakes that live along the walkways.

"It's spring, and you usually see them come out when it's hot," said Jackson. "They're out when the sun's out. Scary, it's right in your backyard though."

Experts say rattlesnake bites are rarely deadly if treated right away, but because the victim is just 1-year-old and very small, the symptoms will be much more extreme.

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