Coastguard warns of jellyfish off Brighton

Posted On 24 Jul 2014 at 2:13 pm
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A blue jellyfish by bluerapsody from Flickr

A blue jellyfish by bluerapsody from Flickr

The coastguard has warned sea swimmers in Brighton to be on the lookout for jellyfish after several reports were made in recent days.

The Argus today reports that we are enjoying the warmest seas for 15 years – but with the balmy waters comes an increased risk of jellyfish.

Newhaven Coastguard issued the following advice from the NHS website:

Most jellyfish stings are mild and don’t require treatment, or you can treat them yourself.

However, dial 999 if there are severe symptoms, such as difficulty breathing, chest pain, or if a large or sensitive area of the body such as the face or genitals has been stung.

Someone stung by a jellyfish should be treated out of the water. They should stay as still as possible while being treated because movement increases the risk of toxins being released into the body.

Any remaining tentacles should be removed using tweezers or a clean stick (wear gloves if they’re available). Applying an ice pack to the affected area will help reduce pain and inflammation.

Vinegar is no longer recommended for treating jellyfish stings because it may make things worse by activating unfired stinging cells. The use of other substances, such as alcohol and baking soda, should also be avoided.

Ignore any advice you may have heard about urinating on the sting. It’s unlikely to help and may make the situation worse.

Applying shaving cream to the affected area will help prevent the spread of toxins. Use a razor blade, credit card or shell to remove any nematocysts (small poisonous sacs) that are stuck to the skin.

After a jellyfish sting, any pain and swelling can be treated with painkillers, such as paracetamol and ibuprofen.

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