A jelly of a Hen Weekend and I’m not talking of the normal kind of Hen Night jelly I’m talking about great big Jelly fish of the king size that sting. That’s right some of our best Hen Party resorts on the south coast have got some visitors from the deep blue sea. The resorts include the great classic destinations of Brighton, Eastbourne and Newquay. From our video clip taken from last year’s mini invasion in Brighton you will see these guys are on the somewhat large size. So you are going to need to air on the side of caution if having a dip in the sea and perhaps keep your shoes on while walking on the beach.
But of course the question all girls should ask on a Hen Night “ What Happens If The Bride To Be Get’s Stung By a Jelly Fish” . Well we are no experts but have found the following advice and I do stress it is only advice.
1. Get out of the water. (note: you don’t have to be in the water to get stung in the first place. A dead jellyfish on the beach can still sting you.)
2. If the victim is having difficulty breathing or is experiencing nausea or dizziness (all possible symptoms of a reaction to the venom), call 999 or seek emergency medical treatment. A reaction to the venom is like any other allergic reaction. It’s normal for the sting to burn intensely; that in itself isn’t a symptom of a reaction.
3. Remove any pieces of tentacle. You don’t want to touch the tentacle pieces, so use a shell or credit card or the edge of a towel. Many jellyfish have clear or pale tentacles. If you see deeply-colored tentacles and did not see the animal that caused the sting, treat the sting as if it came from a man-of-war, just to be safe.
4. Rinse the affected area with seawater. Do not use fresh water! This will cause any nematocysts (stinging cells) that haven’t already discharged to sting. Fresh water may significantly worsen the injury. That’s chemistry in action, too. Changing the osmotic pressure around the nematocysts will cause them to fire.
5. You can use chemistry to inactivate the toxin in the venom. You are basically inactivating a protein, which you can achieve by changing its temperature or pH or by breaking it apart. Applying heat is the safest method of inactivating the toxin because it penetrates the skin and won’t cause stinging cells to fire and release more venom. Hot sand works, too. If you are absolutely sure the sting came from a jellyfish, you can apply a weak acid or base or an enzyme to inactivate the toxin. Vinegar, baking soda, and meat tenderizer all work. Urinating on the sting usually does not work and is not recommended. One of the more recently recommended treatments is to apply lidocaine (such as you would find in sunburn relief products), which immobilizes the stinging cells so they can’t release more venom while relieving the pain or itching of the sting. That is the method we used this time around (this was by no means the first time anyone in my family had been stung). The lidocaine worked very well.
6. We followed up with Benadryl gel, since an antihistamine reduces swelling and can combat potential itching associated with the sting. Some people apply aloe or a hydrocortisone cream.
7. Any of the usual over-the-counter pain relievers are good for pain.
8. Of course this is only advice and you should also seek medical advice if in doubt.