Stings from sea creatures

With hopefully a hot summer soon to be upon us, or some of you going abroad to warmer climates for your holidays, or may be even to the beach. It is important to remember the unfortunate risks of enjoying the hot summer when entering the sea.

Stings from sea creatures, especially those such as Jellyfish, Portuguese men-of-war, sea anemones and corals can contain stings which have venom.

The venom is contained in stinging cells which stick to the skin. Although most spices found in the more temperate regions of the world, those found in the more tropical regions on the world, can cause severe poisoning.

So, if you or someone else is stung by one of these sea borne creatures, what should you do?

Encourage the individual to sit or lie down and immerse the affected area in hot water (40c / 104F), for at least ten minutes. This should help to relieve the pain and reduce the swelling. If hot water is not available, wash with copious amounts of cold water. As you are on the beach, there is plenty nearby that you can get from the sea.

With Jellyfish stings, if you have it available, pour copious amounts of vinegar over the injured area. If not, again use sea water.

The individual may suffer from nausea, vomiting and a headache and there will most likely be pain, redness and swelling at the site of the sting.

Some other marine creatures have spines which can become embedded in the body. In this case, immerse the injured part of the body in as hot water as the casualty can deal with for around 30 minutes. Then send the casualty to hospital for the spines to be removed. Do not however bandage the wound in this case

Always be aware of the risk of anaphylactic shock. The individual may not suffer from this condition however such stings may cause this reaction.

The key signs to look out for are:

Breathing difficulties and swelling of the face and neck

If this occurs dial 999 or 112 (112 is the European emergency telephone number) immediately and if they suffer from anaphylactic, assist them in administering their emergency medication.

If you would like some first aid training in relation to these and other conditions, please do not hesitate to contact Passion First Aid on 07811 025169, email, or go to our website,

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