Why is a stingray a stingray?
This group of fishes is characterized by having
a poisonous barb located on their tail. They use
this barb to defend themselves against
How do I avoid getting stung?
The best way to avoid being stung is to avoid
stepping on a ray. To do this shuffle your feet
in the water, donít step! You may also want to
avoid areas where rays are known to aggregate
(i.e. areas of water that is warmer than that of
the surrounding areas).
Why does it hurt so much when I get stung?
Barb can reach up to 41mm
The spine has membrane coating and within this
membrane are cells that contain a toxin. When
the spine penetrates the skin of its victim, the
membrane is ruptured, releasing the toxin into
the victim. The toxin causes intense pain and
swelling and is likened to that of a bee sting,
only magnified 100-fold. This toxin is a
heat-sensitive protein and, therefore, it can be
denatured through the application of heat. The
spine also has many small barbs or teeth, which
may cause additional tissue damage as the spine
If I get stung what do I do?
Here are the steps to take if you happen to get
stung by a stingray:
Let the wound bleed this help to remove foreign
particles which may have entered with the spine)
Put injured appendage in hot water, as hot as
the patient can stand for approximately 45
minutesThis denatures the protein toxin and
relieves a majority of the pain.
Notify lifeguard on-duty of incident.
Treat wound as any other puncture wound or cut,
keep clean and bandage.
Reduces the chance of infection, promotes
If pain or bleeding persists, if wound is large
or if patient shows signs
of an allergic reaction, see a doctor
And remember it is YOUR
fault that you get stung, the stingray is only
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