Jellyfish Stings In Kids: Rules Of First Aid

Last update: July 1st, 2019 at 7:52 PM

Going to spend your vacation on the seaside? Things happen (especially to kids), so we should be prepared to anything. Today we discuss how to treat jellyfish stings in kids: guidelines for first aid and lifehacks to ease pain and other symptoms.

Are Jellyfish Stings Lethal?

Good news: in most cases, they don’t pose danger to life: out of 2,000 jellyfish species, only a few have very poisonous venom. However, considering how sensitive children’s skin is, jellyfish stings in kids are always painful and extremely irritating. The creatures release a lot of barbs that cling to skin and emit venom. In rare cases, it causes illness through the body, so treatment is essential.

Must read: How To Treat Bites And Stings Of Insects In Kids?

Before we discuss the rules of first aid, let’s find out how to identify jellyfish stings in children.

Diagnosis Of Jellyfish Stings

How to define what kind of jellyfish has stung your kid? Visit a doctor! Samples of stingers will be collected and checked to ensure your little one encountered a non-dangerous creature.

When To Call The Emergency?

Australian box jellyfish - very dangerous species
Australian box jellyfish – very dangerous species

Although most jellyfish stings aren’t dangerous for life, you should seek immediate emergency help when:

  • The sting triggers a serious allergic reaction in child and manifests into difficulty breathing, palpitations, nausea, quickly spreading redness, and so on.
  • The sting covers half, or the entire part of body (face, leg, arm).
  • When a kid has been stung by dangerous types of jellyfish: those are a box jellyfish (can be met in Australia, Indo-Pacific, and Hawaii) and Physalia physalis (lives near the shores of Thailand, Italy and Spain).



Must read: Hot Weather Safety Tips For Kids: How To Survive Through Summer?

First Aid For Jellyfish Stings In Kids: 5 Easy Steps

  1. Get your child out of the water immediately, but do it slowly to prevent stinging again. Ask your little one not to move much – it will only make
  2. Rinse the area with sea water (not fresh) to remove the stinging issue. Do not rub the sting with a towel or gloves – it can activate the remaining barbs.
  3. Wash the area with a mixture of vinegar and warm water – it’s efficient for most stings. Alternatively, a mixture of water and baking soda can be used to block the stingers.
  4. Remove stingers using tweezers or some other tools at your disposal.
  5. Once it’s done, relieve the discomfort: apply some hydrocortisone cream or give your kid antihistamine medication to prevent swelling and itching. Diphenhydramine also relieves itching.

In case of severe allergic reaction, take your kid to the hospital! Most likely, you’ll need antivenin to treat the sting of Australian box jellyfish.

Follow Up Care

If the reaction wasn’t serious, you can treat the sting at home. Use ice packs: apply them for a few minutes several times a day. If necessary, use pain relievers and antihistamine to reduce itching and swelling.

Clean open sores with water 3 times a day and use antibiotic ointment. The wounds can be closed with a bandage.

Jellyfish Sting On Eye

Such cases require immediate medical help and proper eye flushing. See a doctor as soon as possible.

What NOT To Do?

Avoid the following:

  • Scraping the skin to remove stingers;
  • Rinsing area with fresh water or urine;
  • Applying ammonia, ethanol, or alcohol;
  • Rubbing the area with a towel or a glove, etc;
  • Applying pressure bandages on the day of stinging.

Now you know how to treat jellyfish stings in kids, but hopefully, you won’t need to practice these skills. Check the water before swimming every time, and buy a swimming suit for your children to protect the entire body. Stay safe!

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About nikamarvelmaker

I'm a loving mom with a strong passion for creative writing and wordplay. Freelancing since 2013, I focus on translation and crypto copywriting (Bitcoins can be fun, too). My jam-packed daily schedule includes parenting, homemaking, work and blogging on MarvelMama, and I enjoy every second of my ever-busy life.
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