JellyFish Facts

How to Treat a Jellyfish Sting

How to Treat a Jellyfish Sting picture

How to Treat a Jellyfish Sting

Jellyfish are found almost everywhere in the oceans and they can survive at various depths. There are many types of jellyfish which populate the waters near beaches and float very near the surface of the water. Many jellyfish found near the beaches have a venomous sting and the person will feel intense pain coupled with a burning sensation at the place where the jellyfish has stung. Jellyfish have numerous stinger cells called nematocysts on their tentacles and these are fired into the skin of the person coming in contact with a jellyfish.

When a person gets stung by a jellyfish, the first thing you have to do is to get him out of the water, as his swimming capacity will be affected by the pain and other reactions of the venom and there is a danger of him drowning. Once on shore remove any tentacles on the body of the person and immediately pour a liberal amount of vinegar on the affected part. If vinegar is not immediately available throw some sand on the stung part and keep it covered, for some time, or until you get hold of the vinegar. The tentacles have to be removed by a stick or card or a towel, as the tentacle has still got the capacity to sting you.

The venom of the jellyfish is alkali-based and the acid in the vinegar will neutralise the venom. Sand also has certain properties which does the same, but not as effectively as vinegar. The next part of the treatment involves removing any stinger cells still embedded on the skin with a tweezer or scrapping them off with a card. Never use fresh water to rinse the affected part, as the sting can get worse. Only for stings to the eye you can use fresh water. For rinsing all other parts of the body sea water is the best. When vinegar is not available use a sun protection lotion which has lidocaine as one of its ingredients. This will help to neutralise the venom and also will soothe the itching and pain of the sting.

After the above mentioned initial treatment you can bathe the area in hot water. The water can be as hot as you can stand, without burning yourself. Hot water also helps in deactivating the toxins, and rinsing the area of sand and other dirt. The bath can be followed by the application of soothing lotions like aloe vera gel or an antihistamine gel that will soothe the pain and bring down any swellings.

If after getting stung, the person experiences difficulty in breathing, or changes color he should be rushed to a hospital as soon as possible. The sting might be of a Box jellyfish which is highly toxic and will prove fatal if anti-venom is not administered within a short time. Until the medical team arrives you can treat the sting with vinegar and apply a bandage in such a way, so that the extremities of the sting are kept under pressure. The bandage should be wrapped tightly, but care should be taken, not to stop the circulation.

Find jellyfish sting protection and relief products on Ebay (best price) or your local diving supply store.

Learn more about how to treat a Jellyfish Sting and Jellyfish Safety

Learn more about Jellyfish, different Jellyfish Species, general Jellyfish Information, Jellyfish Pets and Jellyfish Safety

Written by and Sudarsana Sinha.

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