Playing on the beach is fabulous fun, but basic safety is important. Children should wear beach shoes when paddling and swimming as Weever fish and sea urchin spines can easily get embedded if they are accidentally trodden on.
Jelly fish stings:
- Reassure them and sit them down
- If there are any tentacles remaining, remove with tweezers – get a medical professional to do this if you are unsure
- If they show any signs of breathing problems, or acute allergic reaction or anaphylaxis – phone an ambulance immediately
- Soak the affected area in vinegar for 15-30 minutes – NOTE – with stings from a Portuguese Man of War (these are not jellyfish but are often mistaken for them) – do not immerse in vinegar as it will make the pain worse
Jelly fish stings
Sea urchins and weever fish:
Sea urchins and Weever fish both have vicious spines that can easily get embedded and can break off leaving the tip deep in the skin.
- Soak the area in as hot water as possible ensuring that you are not scalding the child
- Very carefully remove large spines with tweezers, being very careful not to snap them when removing them
- Look out for any signs of local or systemic reaction – if there are signs of anaphylaxis treat appropriately https://firstaidforlife.org.uk/acute-allergic-reaction-how-to-help/
Do not cover the wound and keep checking on it – if there is severe redness or swelling it may be starting to get infected and they might need antibiotics
Written by Emma Hammett from First Aid for life
First Aid for Life provides this information for guidance and it is not in any way a substitute for medical advice. First Aid for Life is not responsible or liable for any diagnosis made, or actions taken based on this information. It is strongly advised that parents attend a practical First Aid course to understand what to do in a medical emergency.