If you haven’t then consider yourself very lucky. Stingrays inflict a whole world of pain on their unfortunate victims, and the only treatment is to endure the gut churning pain, while soaking the injured limb in borderline scalding water.
Stingrays are everywhere in the United States
There are twenty-two different species of stingrays in the United States waters. They span from coast to coast, in bays and oceans, in brackish to salty waters and the only way to prevent a stingray strike would be to wear steel lined combat boots while swimming. Sure the ‘stingray shuffle’ works for most but eventually you will be stung if you spend most of your days at the bays and beaches we love so much. It is estimated that over 2,500 people will be stung in the United States this year.
I have been a lifeguard in Southern California for over ten years, and in that time, I have treated countless stingray victims. No one is safe. I have seen victims at every location imaginable and stings to pretty much everybody part, so pretty much if there is salt in the water there is a chance of getting stung by one of these pesky critters.
At lifeguard stations throughout the country the standard treatment is to soak the foot in hot water typically about 112 degrees or as hot as you can stand without burning the skin. However, there is great risk involved when you are treated at the lifeguard station. Lifeguards reuse the buckets for stingrays and these bloody buckets are supposed to be cleaned and ‘sterilized’ after each treatment. This doesn’t always happen and there have been some cases where people are infected with a serious blood borne diseases like HIV, Hepatitis B, and Hepatitis C following a treatment by lifeguards. The buckets you soak your feet in at the lifeguard station have seen hundreds of bloody feet and all it takes is a little mistake by the cleaner of the bucket to seriously change your life. The only way to completely avoid accidental infection by something much worse than a stingray sting is to use a sterile single use stingray bag. The bag should be free standing when water is poured in so you’re not stuck holding it up while enduring the excruciating pain. The stingray bags that are sold here… are both free standing and insulated so you just need to add hot water and head straight home or to the hospital.
Why you need a stingray kit
Many remote beaches have no lifeguards and especially no access to hot water. At our lifeguard store we have patented a product for just that occasion. It is a safe chemical reaction kit that heats water on the go anywhere. Just add water.