Its that time of the year again where we look forward to warmer weather and the beach. The last thing you expect is leaving the beach in an ambulance. Aside from the sun, two of the biggest threats you are likely to encounter are sting rays and jelly fish. So what to do if you find yourself the victim of a sting ray sting or a jelly fish bite?
Stingray stings are caused by the sharp barb that transmits a protein-based venom. This venom causes extreme pain for a few hours and leave cuts and abrasions at the sting site. The pain is most extreme during the first 30-90 minutes after the sting. While most sting ray stings are not severe, if you experience any nausea, vomiting, muscle cramping or chills call EMS immediately or go to the nearest emergency room. The treatment for sting rays stings is fairly simply, soak the affected limb in the hottest water tolerable for at least an hour. An instant hot pack is also helpful. Because stingray venoms are composed of heat-labile proteins, doing this will deactivate the poison. Always seek the medical care of your physician in the event of a sting. Of course, to prevent encountering a ray, drag or shuffle your feet when you are walking into the water so that you bump into stingrays instead of stepping on top of them.
Treating jellyfish stings involves two steps. The first step is to deactivate any stingers. The second step is to remove the stingers from the victim's skin. If you can't get to a doctor immediately, these steps may provide relief from the jellyfish venom. Pour white vinegar on the sting. If no vinegar is available you can use any type of meat tenderizer to neutralize the venom. Remove deactivated stingers by applying shaving foam to the sting area. Scrape the skin closely with a razor, knife blade, or credit card. Remove any venom in the skin by applying a paste of baking soda and water and using a cloth covering. Ice can be applied to stop the spread of venom until either of these is available. Soothe any remaining skin irritations with over-the-counter antihistamine pills or creams containing diphenhydramine (Benadryl). Again, seek the care of your physician after any stings.