What To Do If You Are Stung By a Jelly Fish
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What To Do If You Are Stung By a Jelly Fish

This article includes a personal story about a jelly fish sting. it also tells you want to bring to the beach with your to be prepared in case you do get a jelly fish sting. It also tells you how to treat a sting and when you should seek medical attention. There are also tips for avoid Jelly Fish.

There are a lot of Jelly Fish in the ocean and those of us who enjoy swimming or wading in the ocean are taking a risk every time we go in it that we might be stung by a Jelly Fish.  Jelly Fish are kind of like the bees of the ocean.  If you get to close to one you are likely to get stung.  Of course Jelly Fish are even ore dangerous because many time you can't see them and don't know that you are near one until it is too late.  You don't even have to be stung by the Jelly Fish directly to be affected. Obviously if you are swimming in the ocean and you see a jelly fish you should get away from it as soon as possible.  If you see more than one you may want to get out of the water completely or move to a completely different location on the beach.  Also if you see a dead Jelly fish on the beach you should not step on it or get to close to it because it can still sting you.  There is special protective clothing that can be worn to protect you in the water. 

A few years ago we were on a trip with my sister and her family and my nephew was in the ocean and he had a little paddle board.  My nephew was stung and the stuff even got on to his little paddle board.  My Sister's husband got sort of stinging sensation from touching it and they ended up having to throw it out. 

After I witnessed what my nephew went through I will never go in the ocean un-prepared again.  The poor kid was in real pain and we had to walk all the way back up the beach and back up to where we were staying.  By the time we got there he had red splotches all over him and was close to going in to shock. Granted I don't think this happens to everyone but there is a chance he was allergic to the sting.  Since most of us have never been stung by Jelly Fish we can't really know if we are allergic or not unless we are stung by one. 

We actually had my nephew do the worst thing he could have done because at the time we did not know any better.  We made him go in and take a shower.  Fresh water will not help to get rid of the pain it can actually make it worse.  It is better to use salt water then fresh water to wash it off.  That is not the best method but it is better than fresh water.

Being Prepared

From now on when we go on a beach vacation we come prepared.  Here is what we always bring with us when we go:

A bottle of vinegar

1 can of shaving cream


An old credit card or gift card that is no longer active

Benedryl Pills

Benedryl Cream


The first thing you should do is pour vinegar over the sting.  Just pour it on.  This will remove a lot of the stinging sensation.  However it will not get rid of everything.  If you see any of the little tentacls or anything on your skin pull them off with the tweezers. 

After you remove what you can see you will then have to remove what you can not see.  There will be little nematocysts (stingers) that you will not be able to see that will need to be removed.  To do this generously spread the shaving cream all around the area.  Don't just go where you feel the paiin, go about 2 inches further all around.  Then take the credit card or gift card and drag it down the area as if you were shaving with it.  This should get all of the little stingers out of the skin. You may need to repeat a couple of times.  Remember don't wash any remaining shaving cream off with regular water.  Just whipe it off with a towel. 

I also recommend you take a Benedryl pill or tablet right away just in case you are allergic.  Don't wait until you are having a terrible reaction to take one, although if you are already having a bad reaction you should take one.

After the foot is all cleaned off take a moment to rest and take in some fluids.  Then apply some Benedryl cream to help with any itching that may occur. 

When To Seek Medical Treatment

Some Jelly Fish stings are more dangerous than others.  Most just cause a lot of pain but some can be very hazardous.  If you develop a rash that does not seem to subside at all after taking the Benedryl you should seek medical attention. 

If you become short of breath, vomit, feel dizzy, or have a rapid heart beat get medical attention right away.  Rapid heart bean may be associated with anxiety due to being stung.  Attempt to calm your self by taking in deep breaths and exhaling as slowly as possible.  Do this about 4 times.  If your heart rate has not slowed down get yourself to a hospital. 

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Comments (5)

very good article thanks

This is a well written and interesting article. I gave this a vote up and tweet.

I knew about the vinegar trick but the shaving cream was a new one for me. Always good to earn ways of treating injuries like these which are so common for anyone who spends any amount of time in the oceans.

Voted. : )

Interesting & helpful. I always keep Benadryl handy (as you suggest), because it's quite helpful with inflammation caused by a sting or bite.