The first step in treating a jellyfish sting is to remove any remaining tentacles with tweezers or a clean stick. If possible, wear gloves while doing this.
Next, remove any small poisonous sacs (nematocysts) that may be stuck to the skin. You can use a credit card, razor blade or even a shell to do this.
Apply an ice pack to the area that has been affected to help reduce any inflammation and pain, then treat any remaining pain and swelling with ibuprofen or paracetamol.
How not to treat a jellyfish sting
It is no longer recommended to use vinegar, baking soda or alcohol to treat a jellyfish sting, as use of such substances may actually activate unfired stinging cells and make matters worse.
You should also ignore the suggestion that urinating on the jellyfish sting will help, as it will not only fail to help, but may also makes things worse.
When to call for help
Stings by jellyfish are typically fairly mild and do not require medical treatment.
That being said, if a fairly large or very sensitive area of the body is affected, such as the face or genitals, or if severe symptoms are experienced, such as chest pains or breathing difficulties, you should call emergency services immediately.
Most beaches will put up flags to warn beach users of potential dangers. These flags include a purple flag that warns of the presence of jellyfish, stingrays and other potentially dangerous sea creatures in the water.
Other flags include red flags, which indicate danger due to strong currents or high surfs make going into the sea, or red and white quartered flags which indicate that there are sharks in the water.
Naturally, knowing what these flags mean and taking heed of the warnings they provide is extremely important if you wish to prevent beach accidents.
Other unfortunate events
Similarly, you may want to prevent injuries by slips, trips and falls in cafés, shops or amusement arcades, on piers, jetties or near rock pools by looking out for slip, trip and fall hazards.
Reporting a spill in a café immediately could prevent someone from being injured by slipping, so do not hesitate to approach a member of staff with this kind of important information as soon as you spot such a hazard.
If you were injured by a trip, slip or fall or other accident on the beach through no fault of your own, you may qualify for personal injury compensation.
Call us, Accident Advice Helpline, on 0333 500 0993 from your mobile, or 0800 689 0500 from a landline, now for helpful advice and support throughout your public liability claim process.
Date Published: August 1, 2016
Author: Accident Advice