First Aid Tips on How to Treat Jellyfish Stings
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First Aid Tips on How to Treat Jellyfish Stings

First aid methods and procedures on treating jellyfish stings.

Jellyfish may be pretty to look at but being stung by one may be one of the most painful scenario one can encounter. It can even be life threatening due to occasional severe allergic reactions from their poisonous tentacles. So the next time you find yourself frolicking in the beach, best to have these simple tips in the back of your mind just to be safe.

In the event of a Jellyfish sting, do the following:

Step 1: Get out of the water.

Jellyfish stings cause extreme pain and discomfort. It is best to help the victim out of the water to prevent further accidents like drowning and/or getting water into the lungs.

Step 2: Remove tentacles still attached to the victim's skin.

Do so with a gloved hand, a stick, credit card or any available material. Avoid touching any part of the tentacle as they are still poisonous.

Step 3: Watch out for severe allergic reaction (Anaphylaxis).

Signs and symptoms are as follows:

  • difficulty of breathing
  • shortness of breath
  • dizziness
  • weakness
  • loss of consciousness and/or collapse

Immediately seek medical attention if any of the symptoms occur.

Step 4: Rinse the affected area with hot water, seawater or vinegar, whichever is readily available. (Do NOT use Fresh Water!)

Changing the temperature or pH of the site breaks away the protein building up the toxins on the sting. Applying heat may be the safest and easiest mothod of inactivating the toxins and preventing the release of more poison. Vinegar also works by changing the pH of the area although urinating is not recommended because it rarely works. Fresh water, on the other hand, may aggravate the situation further because suddenly changing the osmotic pressure around the stinging cells from the Jellyfish may cause them to fire and further worsen the injury.

Tips:

  • Not all Jellyfish are poisonous but they all do float with the current so if you see one near you, just swim against it so as to prevent possible accidents.
  • Wear proper gear when swimming in an area known to have these kind of creatures. Jellyfish tentacles can't sting through swimsuits so there will be less to worry about.

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