What to do for a jellyfish sting

imagesIf you come in contact with a jellyfish while wading in the ocean there are a few steps to take to help relieve the pain.

Why does it sting?

Jellyfish have tentacles that are covered with sacs that are filled with venom. They cause irritation and stinging when they come in contact with your skin.

What to do if you get stung:

  • Do not rub the area
  • Cover the sting with shaving cream and scrape it off with a plastic credit card to remove the other tentacles
  • Place the area under warm water ¬†for 30 minutes (cold water makes the stinging worse!)
  • Vinegar may help to neutralize the stinging venom (does not help with a man-o-war or bluebottle jellyfish)
  • Benadryl may help relieve symptoms

What not to do if you get stung:

  • Never wash the area with cool water
  • Never pour urine on it
  • Do not rub the affected skin with sand

Red flags: Seek medical care immediately if you experience:

  • Problems breathing or swallowing
  • Swelling of lips or tongue
  • Very bad pain
  • Dizziness
  • A sting in the eye or mouth

Where you can learn more: http://www.nhs.uk/conditions/stings-marine-creatures/pages/introduction.aspx

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