Imagine it’s a hot summer day and the sparkling ocean water is calling your name. You’re out enjoying a swim when out of nowhere you feel this burning sensation, you’ve been stung by a jellyfish. Over the years you may have heard numerous ways to treat a jellyfish sting, some say shaving cream and others say “have a friend urinate on it” (Don’t do that. It doesn’t work and it just plain gross!). So what are you supposed to do if you get stung by a Jellyfish?
- First apply vinegar to the sting. Vinegar is a weak acid that might keep the stingers from firing for some kinds of stings. Rinsing with cool fresh water can make more stingers fire.
- Check for any lingering tentacles, if you see any remove them with tweezers. DO NOT use your fingers as the tentacles can still sting you. Don’t rub the area as this can make the sting worse.
- Do not apply ice or ice packs to a sting. A hot (but not scalding) shower or soak may help lessen pain.
- Treat any discomfort with a mild hydro-cortisone cream.
While severe reactions to jelly fish stings are uncommon, call an ambulance immediately if someone has been stung and:
- is having trouble breathing or swallowing
- has a swollen tongue or lips, or a change in voice
- is nauseated or vomiting
- is dizzy
- has muscle spasms
- has stings over a large part of the body
- the sting is in the eye or mouth
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