Myrtle Beach Vacation Guide

Delaware Beaches | Ocean City MD | Virginia Beach, VA | Outer Banks, NC - Myrtle Beach Vacation Guide

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Grand Strand Days Inn Myrtle Beach South Carolina - Across from the Beach


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Jellyfish Stings & Treatment

Walking on a beach or swimming in the ocean can be fun and relaxing, but just like any other activities, accidents can happen.

Jellyfish are often present in coastal waters, having been brought ashore by winds or ocean currents. They are most common in warm ocean waters, especially along the Atlantic coast of the United States. Stings result from contact with the tentacles, which trail from the jellyfish's see-through body. Jellyfish swimming in the water are often hard to see. Beached jellyfish (right), can sting if touched.

Fortunately, most jellyfish stings are not severe. Jellyfish stings cause immediate, intense pain and burning that can last for several hours. Raised, red welts develop along the site of the sting, often in a whiplike fashion, and may last for 1 to 2 weeks. Itchy skin rashes may appear 1 to 4 weeks after the sting. Extensive stings, allergic reactions, or severe toxic reactions are not common but do occur.

Preventing Jellyfish Stings
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Ocean Swimming Safety Tips: Jellyfish Stings & Treatment
Ocean Swimming Safety Tips: Jellyfish Stings & Treatment

Where to buy Safe Sea Sunblock with Jellyfish Sting Protective Lotion.


Jellyfish Stings Treatment:

Protect rescuers from contact with the jellyfish or jellyfish tentacles. All rescuers should consider protective clothing and gloves in order to protect themselves so they can better rescue and treat the victim.

Remove the victim from the water.

Rinse the affected area with salt water or don’t rinse it at all. Do not rinse the involved area of skin with fresh water, because it will further activate nematocysts and worsen the reaction.

Using protective gloves or forceps, remove any tentacles still in contact with the victim.

Apply acetic acid 5% (white vinegar). This will inactivate undischarged nematocysts and the toxin and will help to decrease symptoms.

Use over-the-counter pain medications such as acetaminophen (Tylenol) or ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin) to control pain symptoms. Immobilize the area that was poisoned to prevent further spread. For example, if a foot was stung, encourage the victim to keep the area still with as little movement as possible.



The Portuguese Man-of-War
Portuguese Man-of-War rarely reach the colder waters of the Mid-Atlantic, but sometimes can be blown onto beaches after a tropical storm such as a hurricane. It can be recognized by its bluish tint balloon-like shape. Portuguese Man-of-War stings occur when the stinging cells on its tentacles touch your skin, then release a poison that can cause severe pain.

They float on the surface of the water with their long, stinging tentacles trailing in the water below. Detached tentacles that wash up on the beach may remain dangerous for months.

In serious cases the stings may cause cramps, difficulty breathing, shock, nausea or vomiting. Anyone who is stung by the tentacles and develops breathing difficulties or generalized body swelling should be transported to the nearest emergency facility for treatment. Use Ice packs to help control the pain.

Portuguese man-of-war stings produce immediate burning pain and redness where the tentacles touched the skin. The affected area develops a red line with small white lesions. In severe cases, blisters and welts that look like a string of beads may appear. Stings that involve the eye may cause pain, swelling, excessive tears, blurred vision, or increased sensitivity to light. Severe reactions are most likely to occur in children and small adults. Severe toxic reactions to the venom can also occur.