A toddler was rushed to the hospital after being bitten by a a rattlesnake in his Encinitas backyard. NBC 7's Steven Luke reports.
An Encinitas toddler was rushed to the hospital after suffering a rattlesnake bite Wednesday.
The snake was in the backyard of a home on Chapalita Drive when the toddler got too close.
Neighbors heard the boy’s screams around 4:30 p.m. followed a short time later by sirens.
The rattler apparently got the toddler's attention after slithering into the backyard from some nearby open space.
“You rarely see ‘em in the neighborhood but they're usually out in the canyon," said resident Mike Mulloy.
The boy, who neighbors say was approximately 18-months-old, was rushed to Rady Children’s Hospital.
Across the county snake sightings are up in recent weeks, but for this community - this one hits all too close to home. Read: Rattlesnakes, What Not to Do
One neighbor has a child who is similar in age.
“They love to investigate everything,” father Andrew Langer said. “So I'm sure anything making noise or moving around would catch her attention."
Mulloy said small wires along the bottom of fences may be an option for homeowners.
"I'm sure they want to enjoy their backyard around here and leave the kids to play and now they have to worry about that, it's too bad," Mulloy said.
Emergency responders say the family did the right thing by calling 911 and waiting for help as opposed to putting the child in the car and driving him to the hospital themselves.
In April 2012, an East County father was criticized for putting his child into the car and driving toward emergency personnel in an effort to "close the gap."
Keith Vaux, M.D. told NBC 7 San Diego that time is a factor when dealing with rattlesnake bites.
"You really have four hours to get that antivenin in, before it's not as effective," Vaux said.