- Jelly Fish are not actually fish. They are invertebrates, a term that means animals with no backbones. Not all jellyfish are clear, they can be vibrant colors like red and orange. Some can even produce their own light, an ability called bioluminescence.
- Jellyfish tentacles can be as long as 10 feet and can contain thousands of stingers.When touched, a jellyfish's stingers will pierce a person's skin and release venom that often causes painful symptoms.
- A beached jellyfish can still sting. Even a dying jellyfish outside of the water or a detached tentacle floating in the water can release venom. Steer clear of jellyfish when you can, matter where you find them.
Follow these tips if you or a loved one is stung:
• To treat a sting, use sea water not fresh water. To treat a jellyfish sting, rinse the affected skin with sea water. Do not pour fresh water over the area or use human urine. Do not apply pressure bandages, meat tenderizer, alcohol, ethanol or ammonia to the affected area.
• Don't touch the area with your bare hands. After you rinse with sea water, try to remove the remaining stingers with something other than your bare hands such as tweezers, a towel or gloves. You may also want to cover the ares with shaving cream or baking soda paste and scrape with a flat-edged object like a credit card.
• Over-the-counter pain relievers can be used to treat the pain and anti-itch cream or an antihistamine can help treat itching.
• Follow up for less severe stings:Use ice packs or over the counter pain relievers antihistamines for welts. Clean open sores three times a day and apply antibiotic ointment. Bandage if needed.
The following tips may help you avoid jellyfish stings:
• Get information about conditions. Talk to life guards, local residents or officials with a local health department before swimming or diving in coastal waters, especially in areas where jellyfish are common.
• Avoid water during jellyfish season. Stay out of the water when jellyfish numbers are high.
• Use protective lotions. Some clinical evidence shows that anti-jellyfish sting protective lotions may result in fewer stings after exposure to jellyfish tentacles. It may be especially helpful to people at high risk of stings, such as children or people with existing medical conditions.
• Wear a protective suit. When swimming or diving in areas where jellyfish stings are possible, wear a wet suit or other protective clothing. diving stores sell protective "skin suits" or "stinger suits" made of thin, high-tech fabric. Consider protective footwear as stings can also occur while wading in shallow water.
HOW TO TREAT A STING ON OR NEAR YOUR EYES
• It's OK to wash your eyes with sea water. but get to the ER as soon as you can. They'll flush your eyes with saline and give you pain medications. The ER doctor will probably send you to an ophthalmologist, a doctor who specializes in eye care.
DO HOME REMEDIES WORK?
Not really. Most are unproven. You may hear about these, but don't try them:
• Baking Soda
• Meat tenderizer
• Pressure Bandage
• Scraping out stingers
• Rinse with fresh water
• Rub with a towel
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