Tip of the week
How to treat a jellyfish sting
Rinse it with saltwater. If you’ve been stung by a jellyfish, head for shore right away so you’re not stung again. Avoid touching the infected area, but you can rinse it with saltwater. Don’t use freshwater, which can trigger the release of venom from the nematocysts—barbed cells that embed in the skin.
Douse it with vinegar. Vinegar is what you really want. It neutralizes the nematocysts so they won’t fire any more venom. Don’t believe the myths that alcohol or urine can help, because they can make matters worse.
Apply heat. For 20 minutes, or until the pain fades, apply a heat pack that’s as hot you can tolerate.
Watch for unexpected symptoms. Jellyfish stings usually aren’t emergencies; they simply hurt. But if you experience nausea, headaches, vomiting, or trouble walking—symptoms of severe envenomation—seek professional medical attention.