Vacationers Clash with Jellyfish

By: Courtney Hayes
By: Courtney Hayes

As the temperature rises, so does the amount of jellyfish on area beaches. The sudden spike in these stingy critters along with the increase in vacationers to our area is causing problems for local first responders, but you may be better off trying to treat a "minor" jellyfish sting yourself.

In the past two days alone, local first responders have received more than 30 calls of people stung by jellyfish. Lifeguards across the coast are working overtime to keep these stinging creatures away from beach-goers.

"The wind conditions are pushing in the jellyfish had some pretty bad and a couple allergic reactions. Bay EMS has been out here a few times. There's not much you can do about it. It's just the nature of the beast," says lifeguard, Joe Badolato.

A jellyfish sting can cause excruciating pain, but unless you're allergic you're probably safe treating the sting yourself. Most people don't realize that some simple products in your kitchen cabinet can relieve the pain. You can pour vinegar or ammonia on the effected area, and believe it or not a meat tenderizer can also help.

"Make sure you wet the tenderizing salt to develop a paste. Something in the meat tenderizer helps," says Lt. Todd Heath, Panama City Beach Fire and Rescue.

And if you just can't wait to get home and treat the sting, there is one last resort--pouring urine on the sting. Officials say ammonia in your urine does in fact get the sting out.

Whatever you do, just don't use fresh water. It will cause the sting cells to release more of its painful venom.


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