By Lauren Tjaden

Stepping on a Florida stingray is about as fun as sunbathing in a hailstorm.

These docile, curious creatures aren’t out to get you, and their stingers are used exclusively in self-defense. Nevertheless, they don’t much fancy being stomped on  –  and an encounter generally isn't peachy for the person stepping on them, either.

Don’t get your beach towel in a twist worrying – and don’t stay out of the water. There’s an easy way to avoid a chance meeting with one of the critters, which often bury themselves in the sand, sometimes only inches from the shore.

When you’re walking in the ocean admiring all the unique marine life, shuffle your feet along the bottom. As a result of this stingray shuffle, the stingrays will feel the vibrations from your feet and have a chance to flee.

If you do get stung, the protein on the stinger is similar to that of a bee sting. A few people (like those allergic to bee stings) may develop a severe allergic reaction to the sting of the Florida stingray, necessitating immediate medical attention. However, if you’re like most people, following the basic first-aid treatment of soaking the affected area in hot water to help break down the toxins will suffice. However, make sure to see a doctor afterward.