- Rinse the wound with whatever clean water is available. Immerse the wound in non-scalding hot water to tolerance (110 to 113 F/43.3 to 45 C) as soon as possible. This may provide some pain relief. Generally, it is necessary to soak the wound for 30 to 90 minutes. Gently extract any obvious piece of stinger.
- Scrub the wound with soap and water. Do not try to stitch or tape it closed - doing so could promote a serious infection by ‘sealing in’ harmful bacteria.
- Apply a dressing and seek medical help. If more than 12 hours are likely to pass before a doctor can be reached, start the injured person on an antibiotic (ciprofloxacin, trimethoprim-sulfamethoxazole or doxycycline) to oppose Vibrio bacteria.
- Administer sufficient and appropriate pain medication.
- Always shuffle your feet when wading in stingray waters.
- Always inspect the bottom before resting a limb in the sand.
- Never handle a stingray unless you know what you are doing or unless the stingrays are definitely familiar with divers and swimmers (e.g., the rays in Stingray City off the Grand Cayman Island in the British West Indies). Even then, respect them for the wild creatures they are - the less you handle them the better for them and for you, too.
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I got stung by a stingray while running in the shallow waters in Mexico, but it was a Sunday so didn't go to the Dr, and on Monday we were flying out back to UK. Because I didn't have stitches my foot stayed swollen up for about a month. Only the first four hours were awful pain up the entire leg.