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Be Jellyfish Smart this Summer!

Jul 25, 2008
But, they are rarely life threatening and should not deter you from enjoying a pleasant day at the beach or at sea.

It is imperative to immediately administer first aid care in the event of the jellyfish sting, unless the victim experiences an allergic reaction to the jellyfish venom. Symptoms of an allergic reaction are severe pain, respiratory problems, swelling, and shock. If the victim exhibits any of these symptoms, call 911 and head to the nearest Emergency Room.

In most cases, victims of jellyfish stings will experience minor irritation and pain where the tentacle made contact with the skin. The affected area should be rinsed with salt water, if available. Fresh water can activate painful toxins in the jellyfish venom and should be avoided unless the wound is contaminated with dirt, sand, seaweed, etc. Those administering first aid should use caution when making direct skin-to-skin contact with the victim. Protective clothing and/or gloves should be worn, if available.

After rinsing the affected area with salt water, apply a cool compress soaked in white vinegar. The acetic acid from the vinegar will deactivate leftover toxins in the jellyfish venom, and the chill of the compress will soothe the burning pain of the venom.

While the compress helps to combat pain on the surface area of the wound, the victim may also start to experience headaches or muscle pain near the affected area. Over-the-counter medications like ibuprofen or aspirin may be administered to treat any additional pain, along with lots of fluids. Benadryl or topical creams may be used to treat any itching or rash symptoms may develop at or around the wound.

As with all major wounds, it is important to follow up with your physician once first aid has been administered, especially if infection or flu-like symptoms develop.

Don't let a fear of jellyfish deter you from enjoying the ocean. Take precaution before going in the water by checking with the local life guards, who will readily tell you of any hazards to be aware of. Pack a small jar of white vinegar -- available at grocery stores -- in your beach bag so you're not caught empty handed in the event of a jellyfish sting. And walk the shoreline; if you see jellyfish washed up on the sand every few meters, don't go in the water.

Be jellyfish smart this summer, and enjoy the ocean like never before, because if you don't your only hurting yourself.
About the Author
Chris Jensen is a contributing Author of Jetfly Blog. For more related articles and reviews visit Jetfly Pets & Animals Blog now. Also, for the Best up-to-date related Online Products, check out Jetfly Aquarium & Fish Shop for Todays Current Online Deals.
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