Stingray sting

A stingray sting occurs if an individual accidentally steps on one. A stingray is defined by its flattened body with an elongated whip-like tail with stingers. Some species are considered highly venomous to humans. Remember that stingrays are not aggressive but sting as self-defense if accidentally stepped on.

One can end up with stingray sting while diving or walking in shallow waters at the beach. A sting can also occur if picking up or handling one with bare hands.

What are the signs?

An individual suspected with a stingray sting can end up with symptoms ranging from minor to severe.

In most cases, a stingray sting can cause the following:


  • Local injury such as a cut or laceration, usually on the legs or the arms
  • Pain that increases in intensity in 1-2 hours
  • Puncture wounds with serious bleeding
  • Itchiness
  • Swelling
  • Skin rashes
  • Muscle cramping


Stingray sting

Local injury such as a cut or laceration, usually on the legs or the arms.

If the symptoms that arise after a stingray sting are severe, it can be systemic and might include:

  • Difficulty breathing
  • Coughing
  • Rapid heart rate and low blood pressure
  • Weakness
  • Fever and chills
  • Nausea and/or vomiting
  • Loss of consciousness
  • Paralysis


If an individual ends up with a stingray sting, it is vital to get in touch with emergency assistance right away.

Until the emergency team arrives on the scene, the following must be carried out:

  • The individual should be transferred out of the water
  • If the wound is bleeding, apply direct pressure to control the flow of blood.
  • Do not provide anything to the individual orally or any medication unless instructed to do so by a healthcare professional.

Quick Note / Disclaimer

The material posted on this page on a stingray sting is for learning and educational purposes only. To learn to properly manage the injury, register for a first aid and CPR course with Vancouver First Aid.


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