By Alicia Neaves
ODESSA - Springtime is well underway and it just so happens to be the time of year when rattlesnakes come out.
For one 6-year-old, he encountered one right outside of this Logan's Roadhouse in Odessa. Now, he's fighting one of the most painful injuries one could face. A rattlesnake bite to his hand.
"I had a very good friend. He was in the army. He had been shot, had been stabbed and had a heart attack in his life. He said he'd do all three again at once before he got bit again. It's that painful," said Dennis Burns, Chairman of the Rattlesnake Roundup.
The boy's mother says he was playing outside of the Logan's Roadhouse with other kids Sunday afternoon when all of a sudden he came running to her, crying, saying he was bitten by a rattlesnake.
Police say the boy was playing around some rocks outside the restaurant.
The mother says her son never heard a rattle.
"They will stand up and fight if need be to protect themselves. That's usually what happens is you scare the snake. It had no other way to react, so it bit you for protection," said Burns.
The boy was transported to Medical Center Hospital, and shortly after, airlifted to Lubbock Covenant, where he is now in stable condition.
Burns says what's unusual about this encounter is rattlesnakes avoid human contact as much as they can and tend to steer clear of high-traffic areas.
These snakes come out in the Spring because they can't handle extreme heat or cold.
"A rattlesnake cannot survive in the sun. About 5-10 minutes in the sun and they're done," Burns said.
To protect yourself, if you spot a rattlesnake nearby, don't move fast.
"A rattlesnake bite takes 1/10 of a second. We're not that fast. If you hear the noise, or you see the snake, stop and figure out where it's at and slowly back away. Leave it alone," Burns said.
Most rattlesnake bites are not deadly unless you have an allergic reaction to the venom.
If you're bitten, call 911 ASAP.