A mum has issued a warning to other parents after her son was stung by a deadly fish at their local beach where they swam daily.
The nine-year-old boy tossed his ball into the shallow waves at Golden Beach, on the Queensland Sunshine Coast, on Christmas Day and was subsequently stung by a stonefish.
His mum Kylie Stapleton told Yahoo News Australia the pain was so horrific that her son thought he was going to die.
“I knew something was bad...he’s tough, he was screaming to me that he loved me and he thought he was going to die,” Ms Stapleton said.
“I don’t remember too much cause I was in survival mode.”
They had been at the beach for less than a minute when the stonefish, disguised beneath sand in waist-deep water, stung the boy.
Her friend ran to a nearby resort and frantically knocked on doors for someone to bring them some hot water to help treat the wound.
“Nothing else was open, thank God there was an ambulance up the road. We were lucky, he was given medication immediately. It was scary as,” she said.
Ms Stapleton alerted others in a local Facebook group after hearing six other kids in the area had also suffered from the potentially fatal sting in recent days.
“My friend and I hadn’t even put the esky on the ground and he stepped on one in shallow water, where 50 other kids were playing,” she wrote.
“If this happens you must submerge the sting in hot water to draw out the venom immediately,” she wrote.
“My boy is tough but I could tell he was in horrific pain. He was also lucky he only got two spikes through his foot.”
She added that a friend in Mooloolaba had captured a stonefish last week and another caught one in Happy Valley after seeing it close to swimmers.
Another mum also posted to Facebook on Saturday saying her son had been stung at La Balsa.
“These are are dirty mongrel fish that can take a fully grown man down in pain. Just be cautious please,” she urged.
More than 400 locals claimed they too had spotted them in the Sunshine Coast area recently with sightings reported at Twin Waters and Currimundi lake.
Many expressed gratitude for the mum’s warning, saying they too frequented Golden Beach.
“Hope your son is ok. We go down to Golden Beach all the time. Thanks for the heads up,” one wrote in a comment.
The mum said her son had since recovered from the ordeal and had taken just two days to “bounce back”.
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