Tips to Avoid Sting Rays and Snake Bites While Adventuring

Reads 3430

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


Login to add Comments


Show Comments
Flicka Jul 07, 2019 03:08 PM
Tips to Avoid Sting Rays and Snake Bites While Adventuring

I just visited a friend on a ranch up north where I was warned to watch my step outside because of rattlers. One was next to their front door when a relative of theirs didn't look first, luckily he didn't get bitten. A dog on a neighboring ranch was bitten 2xs in 4 years. 1st time the Vet bill was $600, 2nd was $1100. Watch yourselves and your pets.

EastBeach Jul 07, 2019 11:25 AM
Tips to Avoid Sting Rays and Snake Bites While Adventuring

If bitten by a rattler, I'd suggest taking a photo of it if you or someone in your group can. A friend was bitten by a rattler in the lower leg. He said it took some time to convince the emergency room doctor the snake actually was a rattler. So a photo would have helped. By then his calf began to turn color which prompted administration of anti-venom. As of this year, there are now two rattler anti-venom drugs (CroFab and Anavip) which is great in case you're allergic to one of them ....

halibut52 Jul 07, 2019 11:08 AM
Tips to Avoid Sting Rays and Snake Bites While Adventuring

Seems like it would be more beneficial to include a photo of the actual small rays that inhabit the waters near the shore rather than the big, beautiful manta rays that don't live anywhere nearby.

a-1562481347 Jul 06, 2019 11:35 PM
Tips to Avoid Sting Rays and Snake Bites While Adventuring

One day last week, a group of young children, obviously some school or summer camp group, was gathered around looking at a snake which was snaking along in the low grass near a Goleta creek. The teacher was telling the kids to look, not touch. The one young boy kindly informed me, "It's a Gardener snake." That really made me smile. "Garter," I replied. "I know it sounds like 'Gardener,' but it's 'Garter.'"

Please Login or Register to comment on this.