After Sea Lice Come the Jellyfish at Greenwich Beaches

jellyfish noticeLast weekend the Town posted warnings of sea lice, which are microscopic jellyfish larvae that can cause a painful and itchy rash, especially when trapped inside a swimsuit.

jellyfishThis weekend, the Town issued a jellyfish warning:

1. Get the person out of the water

2. Stop the Stinging:

• Wash the area with seawater to deactivate stinging cells. Or you can remove tentacles by scraping with a credit card or other plastic object. (DO NOT USE FRESH WATER)

3. Decontaminate and Remove Tentacles

For jellyfish stings, the American Heart Association recommends:

• Rinse the area with vinegar for at least 30 seconds.If vinegar is not available a solution of baking soda can be used. This will help deactivate the stinging cells.

• Next, soak the area in hot water for at least 20 minutes if possible. Cold packs can be used instead if the area can’t be soaked in hot water.

4. Treat Discomfort

• Use mild hydrocortisone cream or oral antihistamine to help relieve itching and swelling.

5. Follow up

For less severe sting:

• Use ice packs or over-the-counter pain relievers for welts

• Clean open sores 3 times a day and apply antibiotic ointment. Bandage if needed.

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The Town warns that the “sea lice” that cause itchy bites are actually tiny little jellyfish or stinger larvae that have the same stinging cells (nematocysts) as an adult jellyfish/stingers, but because they’re only small, they only affect a small area.

See also:

Town Offers Tips to Swimmers to Avoid, Treat Sea Lice Rash

Swimmers Take Note, Greenwich Lifeguard Shortage Means Decreased Coverage


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