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Hanover elementary student bitten by snake

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HANOVER COUNTY, Va (WTVR)- They made a movie about snakes on a plane.  Now we may have a snake on the playground in western Hanover County.

A young boy was treated for a snakebite Wednesday, forcing school officials to shut the playground down and send a letter home to parents.

The playground at South Anna Elementary School is off limits for now. “A letter came home in the kids’ folders, saying a child had come into contact with a snake," said parent Kim Gholson.

Hanover Schools spokesman Darryl Chesley told me on the phone Friday afternoon that the student likely came into contact with the snake on the primary playground where he suffered an injury.  School officials also say they’re not sure what kind of snake it was, so the child was treated by school nurses then taken to a hospital for observation.  "If you're not sure, it's best to err on the side of caution,” said Susan Watson, a wildlife expert from the Department of Game and Inland Fisheries. “There's never been a death by a copperhead bite in Virginia, but you still want to go to the hospital, at least for observation."

Gholson has a kindergartner and fourth grader at South Anna.  She says she and her husband have had a few talks with their children on what to do if they see a snake.  “Tell them to wear shoes out in the yard, and not to touch them but to just walk the other way," Gholson said.

I am told the student who encountered the snake is resting at home tonight.  School officials say the incident is one they take seriously and will continue to monitor the playground in the days to come.