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24 Jul 2013
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Every year, towards the end of July, jelly fish decide to visit the Emerald Coast. According to marine biologists, the annoying sea life get caught in the Gulf Stream and make their way to our warm, Emerald Green Waters. You’ll know we have uninvited guests by the Purple Flags flying on the beach. While jellyfish stings can be painful, they are generally not life threatening, and there are a couple of basic household items you can throw in your beach bag to help take the sting away. As long as the sting victim isn’t having a serious anaphylactic reaction, you can work some do it yourself pain relief magic:
Rinse the bite with vinegar. Pour the vinegar directly on the sting to avoid rubbing the site. If you don’t have vinegar, sea water and lemon juice also work. Do not rinse the area with fresh water; you’ll just re-activate the poison. Pour some vinegar in a reusable spray bottle and toss it in your bag so you don’t have to worry about carrying a big bottle.
Apply vinegar directly to the sting with a towel, or T-shirt. You can also make a paste with sea water and meat tenderizer or with sea water and sand.
Once the pain has subsided, gently scrape the tentacle cells away with a credit card, paper plate or plastic utensil.
Reapply vinegar or paste.
Once you get home, you can treat the sting with a hydrocortisone cream or over the counter oral antihistamine (like Benadryl) to alleviate any remaining swelling or itching. If the jellyfish victim has a serious reaction, which would include severe swelling and pain, trouble breathing, or difficulty swallowing, contact EMS immediately.

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