Summer is fast approaching, which means many beach days lie ahead in the Orlando area.
With the sun and waves, though, also comes the threat of jellyfish. In fact, more than 500 people were treated for stings in Volusia County on Sunday alone, according to beach rescue officials.
The fear of getting stung shouldn’t keep you from the beach all together, but it is important to know how to handle a sting should you suffer from one.
According to WebMD.com, here are the steps you should follow to treat a jellyfish sting:
Right after sting
First, get out of the water. The only thing that could make a jellyfish sting hurt more is suffering another one. Eliminate that risk by staying clear of the jelly-like creatures.
Next, try to stop the stinging by rinsing the area that was stung with vinegar for at least 30 seconds, WebMD recommends. Experts also encourage trying to remove the tentacles from the wound using a pair of tweezers.
Once you remove the tentacles, soak the area that was stung in hot water, specifically ranging in temperature from 104 to 113 degrees Fahrenheit, for at least 20 minutes, the site recommended. If you’d rather take a hot shower instead, experts say that serves as an alternative to soaking the area, as long as you stay in the shower for 20 to 45 minutes.
The website mentions that these treatment recommendations are based on research done in the Indo-Pacific areas and isn’t guaranteed to work for all stings.
After initial treatment
Stings can make you itchy and uncomfortable for a while after the initial sting goes away. WebMD recommends sting victims use a mild hydrocortisone cream or oral antihistamine to bring temporary relief.
Ice pack and over-the-counter pain relievers or antihistamines can be used to treat the welts that come after a sting.
Experts also recommend cleaning open sores three times per day and applying antibiotic ointment. If necessary, use bandages to cover the wound.
The tips above should bring relief after a sting, but there are scenarios where swimmers or other sting victims should seek more intense treatment.
According to Web MD, you should call authorities or other emergency responders if the person is showing any signs of a severe allergic reaction. Redness and itchiness are common, but continue to monitor the area and victim’s behavior for more severe reactions.
The website also recommends calling 911 if the sting is from a box jellyfish or if it covers more than half of the victim’s arm or leg.