Every year, there are about 1,500 stingray stings cases. A stingray sting can cause swelling and bleeding, you should call 911 immediately if the victim has severe allergic reaction such as difficulty in breathing, tightness in the throat, dizziness or loss of consciousness. But generally speaking, a stingray sting is rarely fatal. It is good to know how to deal with a minor stingray sting when professional medical help is unavailable.
Home treatment for a stingray sting
1. Calm down, don’t be panic. A stingray sting can be very painful but it is not harmful. First, if you get stung, you should go back to the shore or other safe shelters in case of getting another stingray sting.
2. Wash the wound with soap and water. Clear up sand or mud around the wound.
3. Remove small parts of the stinger with tweezers or plier carefully. Removing big stingers can leads to severe bleeding, so if the singer is a long one, leave it until the emergency medical assistance arrives. Do not remove stingers from the neck, chest, or abdomen.
4. Apply pressure above the wound to stop the bleeding. If the bleeding is severe and out of control, go to the nearest emergency room or call 911 immediately.
5. Soak your wounded limb in hot water for 2 hours. Hot water is a great remedy for a stingray sting since it can denatures the venom and neutralizes the pain. But remember to use the nearing boiling water within your tolerance, but not the water hot enough to cause damage
6. Painkillers are another remedy to alleviate the pain if hot water is not available. For victims with low tolerance of pain, a painkiller is a quicker solution than boiling hot water. But do not take it if you are vomiting, painkillers can worsen the symptoms in this situation.
Tips and warnings
1. When you are going to enjoy the happy times on the beaches, ask the locals if there are any area that stingrays often show up. And try to avoid or go with a local guide if you really want to.
2. Be careful when you are in warmer water area and small surf. Stingrays tend to move closer to the shore when the temperature is warmer, and they are easier to be stepped on.