Tuesday 19 February 2013

No need for 'Hiss-teria'!

'Natured Kids' playgroup, were exploring habitat for creatures at 'The Briars' in Mt.Martha today. 

We were looking for scats, tracks and feathers, all evidence of the   resident emus, possums, koalas,birds and wallabies that share this beautiful natural environment.

We were also lucky enough to spot a'Copperhead' snake, 
sunning itself, a safe distance  under the bridge. (pictured in photograph)

Snake season is well and truly here, with the warmer weather prompting these reptiles to become more active.

When recreating outdoors in nature, it is possible you may encounter a snake.

Follow these common sense rules when playing with your children outdoors, to maximise your enjoyment of the natural habitat we share with many special creatures.

*When bushwalking, always stay on formed paths, tracks, cleared or open spaces so you can see & avoid snakes.
*Always wear protective clothing such as covered shoes and trousers. *Be aware of where you are placing your feet, look down when walking. *Do not put your hands or feet in or under logs, rocks, hollows, crevices or debris.
*Be near your young children when playing, responsible for their  whereabouts & aware of possible risks.
*Carry a first aid kit that contains pressure bandages.

Snakes are protected under the Nature Conservation Act 1995 and it is an offence to kill, injure or take snakes from the wild.

These long, legless reptiles play an important role in maintaining the natural environment. Without them, the numbers of prey species would increase to unnatural levels and the predators that eat snakes would struggle to find food.

The snakes you are most likely to see near residential areas in southern Victoria are all venomous, so it’s important to know how to respond if you see one.

The most frequently encountered snakes in Greater Melbourne are Tiger Snakes (Notechis scutatus) and Lowland Copperheads (Austrelaps superbus). In drier areas, Eastern Brown Snakes (Pseudonaja textilis) are common and occasionally the Red-bellied Black Snake (Pseudechis porphyriacus). All four species are dangerously venomous but it is rare for them to bite people, usually only if handled,stepped on or harassed.

If you see one, don't panic,there is no need for 'hiss-teria'! 

When you see a snake, there are some simple things to keep in mind:

Don't panic! Stay calm. If within 1m, stay perfectly still until the snake moves away. (Snakes associate close movement with predators & could feel threatened) otherwise, back away to a safe  distance and give the snake a  wide bearth.Snakes often want to escape when 
disturbed. When left alone, snakes present little or no danger to people

lt is handy for all Australian parents to undertake or update their first aid training. Ensure that your first aid kit contains several compression bandages.(in an emergency, pantyhose or strips of clothing can be used 
instead of bandages)  

Snakebite first aid treatment 
instructions are simple.
Do not wash, cut or suck the wound.Apply bandage immediately. Firmly bandage,starting from bite site and extend up the limb.Do not apply tighter than you 
would for a sprained  wrist. 
Once bandaged, immobilize bitten limb with a  sling, triangular bandage and or splint.Keep patient still and calm.Movement will increase venom flow.Seek medical help immediately.Monitor pulse 
and breathing. If either cease, apply 
mouth-to-mouth or CPR until  medical attention arrives .Where possible bring vehicle to 
patient. Do not try to catch or kill the snake as hospitals are able to 
identify snakes from venom samplestaken from bite site.

It is most important to educate 
your child from an early age that 
snakes must be respected and not 
touched. With that in mind it is probably not a good idea to allow 
your young children to play with 
toy rubber snakes.

Learning about snake safety is part of our Natured Kids 
program. Regular reinforcement of  these important messages, is the responsibility of each family.Doing so will ensure that your 
Australian child grows up well 
educated and aware, with the confidence to enjoy all the benefits 
that our great outdoors has to offer.

Tuesday 5 February 2013

'Natured Kids Dinosaur Dig'

A young fossil finding crew of 1-6 year olds from the Mornington Peninsula, are on a mission to learn more about a local dinosaur, the Qantassaurus.

This small, bipedal, dinosaur, 6ft long and 3 ft high, lived in the forests of Victoria around 115 million years ago. The Qantassaurus lived alongside a diversity of other dinosaurs, reptiles, mammals, fish, turtles, birds, flying reptiles, marine reptiles and invertebrates.

Fossilised bones belonging to this herbivorous dinosaur were first discovered in 1996, at the annual 'Dinosaur Dreaming Dig' currently underway, in the coastal town of Inverloch.

While 25 professional Scientists, Geologists, Palaeontologists and volunteers are on a mission to retrieve undiscovered dinosaurs, children who attend the Natured Kids outdoor playgroup will be re-creating mini habitats for dinosaurs and delighting in their own 'dino dig'.

See  www.naturedkids.com  for more details.