Heydon Wilson, 8, points to where he was stung on his finger by a blue-ringed octopus.
Heydon Wilson, 8, points to where he was stung on his finger by a blue-ringed octopus. Alistair Brightman

Boy, 8, stung by blue-ringed octopus in Hervey Bay

CHERYL Wilson had never been so scared as when she heard her son had been stung by a blue-ringed octopus at the rock pools in Urangan.

Cheryl's son Heydon, eight, picked up the octopus with a plastic bag with plans to use it as bait as he was fishing with a friend on the rocks near the beach just before 2pm on Saturday.

The blue-ringed octopus, which stung a boy in Hervey Bay, in a bucket.
The blue-ringed octopus, which stung a boy in Hervey Bay, in a bucket.

According to the Queensland poisons information centre, it is the bite from the octopus' beak-like mouth, not the barbs in the tentacles, which are poisonous and can be potentially fatal.

Heydon said the octopus's barb caused him immediate, but not severe, pain.

"But one of its tentacle's escaped the bag and wrapped around my pinkie, which hurt a bit."

Heydon said he told his friend's grandmother who was supervising them straight away.

"I showed her the octopus which she said was a blue-ringed octopus and she went and got my mum," he said.

"I was a bit scared because then mum took me to hospital."

Heydon spent the next six hours in Hervey Bay Hospital under observation after it was established that the sting was not from the poisonous part of the octopus.

Ms Wilson said the doctors from all over the hospital came to have a look at the octopus which the family brought in with them.

"They all came to see it because none of them had seen a blue-ringed octopus in this area before," Ms Wilson said.

"We're just so grateful he picked it up with a plastic bag and was only stung by a tentacle, not the beak, which is the poisonous part."

"There are so many kids that play on the rocks down there and if more people are aware then hopefully they'll be more careful," she said.

"I'm afraid kids will pick them up, play with them and get stung and the doctors told me you can't feel the sting for five or ten minutes and by then it's too late."

Heydon said he too would like people to be more careful when walking or playing around rock pools.

"People should take care because I don't want them to get hurt," he said.

"I'll definitely be wearing shoes next time too."  

Heydon Wilson in hospital after picking up a blue-ringed octopus from rock pools in Urangan.
Heydon Wilson in hospital after picking up a blue-ringed octopus from rock pools in Urangan.

 


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