Tips to Avoid Sting Rays and Snake Bites While Adventuring
Source: Santa Barbara County Cottage Hospital
Crowds flocking to beaches and trails over Independence Day weekend should be on the lookout for these other sun seekers: sting rays and snakes.
Cottage Health hospitals in Santa Barbara, Goleta and Santa Ynez Valley have tips to avoid painful encounters with these creatures in our local recreation areas.
Stingrays like the shallow, warm waters of South Coast beaches. They are not easily seen, so it’s best to slowly shuffle your feet in the water to avoid stepping on them. If you get stung by a stingray, soak the injured area in water as hot as you can stand for 60 to 90 minutes, and seek medical help right away. After soaking, keep the wound clean and dry.
Snakes can hide in tall grass, weeds and underbrush. It’s best to stay on clear trails and avoid walking barefoot in wilderness areas. Don’t camp near swamps or streams. If you see a snake, slowly back away. If a snake bites you, seek medical help immediately. Stay calm and keep the bite area below the heart to prevent the venom from spreading.
Do not touch or wrap or the area, and do not put any ointments onto the bite. Also, do not take aspirin as it can make the bleeding worse.
To see all of our summer tips, visit cottagehealth.org/summertips.