A woman could face child abuse charges after she let a snake bite her baby daughter.

Chartelle Geanette St Laurent, who grew up interacting with reptiles, said she decided to “teach” her one-year-old about the dangers posed by the creatures. 

She told investigators from Highlands County Sheriff’s office that she had seen a number of poisonous snakes on her property in Sebring, Florida. 

So she wanted to expose her daughter to the dangers they pose.  

In a video posted on Facebook - which has since been removed - Miss St Laurent puts a 14-inch non-venomous red rat snake in a container in front of her child.

The one-year-old is seen reaching for the snake, whereupon she is bitten on the right thumb and starts crying.

The 34-year-old can be heard laughing in the background, though the child did not sustain any injuries related to the bite. 

Miss St Laurent told authorities that she allowed the snake to bite her first, to ensure it was not dangerous. 

Asked about the laughter, she said she had been surprised when the snake struck her little girl. 

Sheriff's are now investigating the incident to determine whether or not her actions break Florida’s child abuse law.

Calling the incident "harmless", Ms St Laurent told ABC Action News: "People are too sensitive. They just think that I hurt my child intentionally."

She added that the child was not hurt, and the snake’s teeth were “too small” to puncture skin.

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