4 Essential items should be included in Jellyfish Sting kit
Updated: Nov 9, 2021
Spending time on the beach and swimming in the sea can be part of a fun day if the day ends uneventfully. A jellyfish bite could turn an uneventful day into a not-so-fun day.
Even though jellyfish stings are not commonly fatal, they are generally unpleasant experiences that should be avoided. Since you can't completely rule out the possibility of jellyfish stings when swimming in the sea, it is important to know what to do on such occurrences.
This article covers how to handle jellyfish stings in general and particularly how to offer first aid and what to include in a first aid box.
First off, let’s share some general details about jellyfish stings.
What you should know about jellyfish stings
Every jellyfish does not have the ability to sting. Also, of the jellyfishes that can, only the sting of a few can result in serious consequences. Still, it is important to stay away from these sea creatures.
A significant proportion of jellyfish stings occur due to swimming into the tentacles of the creatures. Since they tend to move in groups and can be easily seen, it is advised that swimmers stay away from jellyfishes to avoid getting stung.
It is also important to look out for jellyfishes on beaches as stings can result from stepping on a jellyfish.
Jellyfish stings occur when contact is made with the tentacles and the content of the sac also known as nematocyst is released.
These creatures are found in shallow waters as well as deep oceans and freshwater bodies. Jellyfish stings can be poisonous when the stingers contain toxic materials. Such poisonous stings can result in fatalities.
How to manage a jellyfish sting
It is important to act quickly after a jellyfish sting. The immediate subsequent actions could influence the overall consequences after a jellyfish sting.
Here are the steps to follow quickly after a jellyfish sting.
Firstly, identify the affected area and rinse it with vinegar or any available commercial spray afterward.
While rinsing the stung area, look out for the tentacles and remove them. This step is important because the tentacles can continue to sting as long as they are attached to the skin. Wear gloves or wrap your hand in a plastic bag before removing the tentacles as a means of protection.
On removing the tentacles, place a heat pack on the affected area. If heat packs are unavailable, put the affected area in water with a temperature of at least 113 degrees Fahrenheit for about 40 minutes.
Removing the tentacles is an essential part of the first aid care a person should receive after a jellyfish sting. Thus, if there is no vinegar, commercial spray, hot pack, or hot water, simply remove the tentacles from the affected areas very carefully, wearing gloves or protecting the hands with a plastic bag.
Content of jellyfish sting first aid kits
First aid kits should be part of the critical items taken to a beach. Also, pack a first aid kit when spending time on the ocean. While you cap swimwear, sunglasses, sunscreen, hats, and other items, remember to pack a first aid kit.
Since jellyfishes are bound to be encountered in an ocean, it is particularly important to pack a jellyfish-focused first aid kit. Here are the essential contents of a jellyfish first aid kit.
Baking soda (three to four packets)
Baking soda is to be applied to the affected area to prevent the release of further venom from the tentacles. A slurry of baking soda is made from 50% baking soda and 50% seawater.
We mentioned above that the removal of the stingers and tentacles is a critical part of jellyfish sting first aid. Tweezers are applied for efficient removal and should be part of the first aid kit taken to a beach or ocean.
The tweezers are used for scraping the tentacles off of the skin. We should mention that unnecessary pressure should not be applied to the skin to remove the tentacles or stingers. Excess pressure could trigger the release of more venom, especially for the highly toxic jellyfishes.
First aid kits with vinegar should be taken to a beach or ocean. The vinegar can be poured into a 60 ml spray bottle. Vinegar is applied to the affected surface to discourage the release of venom.
One of the first jellyfish sting first aid steps is to wash the affected area with vinegar.
Anti-itch creams help to alleviate the pain and initial discomfort associated with jellyfish stings. The best anti-itch creams have little to no side effects and do not trigger allergies.
Jellyfish sting deterrent lotion
These lotions help to reduce the effect of stings on the skin. While they may not completely block the activity of the stingers, they can minimize the effect.
Jellyfish stings are bound to happen around water bodies. We have highlighted the essential details on preventing and managing jellyfish stings.