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How to avoid getting stung by a stingray and what to do if you are stung

The "Stingray Shuffle" helps scare them away
Stingray Shuffle.PNG
Posted at 5:06 PM, Jun 22, 2022
and last updated 2022-06-22 18:06:17-04

CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — A couple summers ago while boogie boarding, after catching a wave I stood up in the shallow, warm water and stepped on something which at the time felt like a sharp rock hitting the back of my foot. I wasn't sure what I stepped on but soon realized it was probably a stingray from the amount of pain and swelling it produced.

I tried to ignore it but the pain got worse so I went to the nearest Urgent Care. It was amazing at how fast the pain subsided when the doctor submerged my foot in hot water. The hot water helps neutralize the toxins.

Stingrays often travel together, and they lie and glide across the ocean’s bottom to feed, and tend to hide just under the sand in shallow, warm water.

Although they are not aggressive, they whip their tails, which have poisonous barbs or spines, as a defense mechanism. If you step on a ray and are stung, you will know immediately because their stings can be extremely painful.

The sting from a ray results in a wound that is similar to being jabbed with a pointy and serrated knife, and a toxic venom enters the skin. While the sting wound tends to be small, the level of pain can be very intense and immediate. Swelling and discoloration also can occur.

Doctors recommend soaking the injured area in hot water for 60 to 90 minutes and getting medical attention. The stingray’s barb sometimes can break off and remain imbedded in the skin and, if left untreated, an infection can occur. A doctor may be needed to remove the barb.

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