What should you do if you are stung by jellyfish?

Here's what to do if you've been stung by a jellyfish, so that you don't have any bad memories of your encounter.

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With the arrival of warmer weather comes the prospect of summer holidays and, for many of us, swimming and days at the beach. Unfortunately, these moments of pleasure can be ruined by a chance encounter with those strange and fascinating creatures known as jellyfish.

To make sure your holiday isn't ruined by jellyfish, here are the dos and don'ts for jellyfish stings. 

DO NOT: urinate on the wound

The first bad idea is to urinate on the wound! Although the warmth of the urine may provide instant relief, its composition may cause the intact stinging cells on the skin to burst. Fresh water should also be avoided.

The solution:

Rinse thoroughly with sea water. 


DO NOT: scratch the sting area

Even if you're itching to rub where it hurts, don't! By rubbing the painful area, you come into contact with the stinging cells of the jellyfish, which can continue to spread their venom and therefore burn your hand. In fact, don't touch a jellyfish that has washed up on the sand - even a dead jellyfish can continue to spread its venom.

The solution: 

Place sand on the painful area and leave to dry. Then scrape off the sand with a stiff object (a credit card, the youngest child's shovel) to remove the stinging jellyfish cells. Then rinse one last time with seawater.

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DO NOT: use alcohol

To disinfect the wound, use an antiseptic, not alcohol!

The solution: 

Additional paracetamol can ease the pain, as can immersing the area in hot water or heating it with a hairdryer, as the heat inhibits the jellyfish's venom.

If you have a severe reaction to a jellyfish sting, you should seek medical advice.

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