Water Safety Tips | How to Treat a Jellyfish Sting

Warm weather undoubtedly means many of us will be heading to the beach but it unfortunately attracts another kind of unwelcome beach user, the jellyfish.

treat jellyfish sting

There’s a number of different jellyfish that visit our shores from the mostly harmless to the very nasty. Check out our jellyfish identification guide so you can know which ones are best to avoid.

Here’s what to do if you get stung! 

If you or someone you know gets stung the best option is to go to a lifeguard for treatment. But if that’s not an option here are a few tips:

  • Rinse the affected area with sea-water (do not use fresh water, vinegar, alcohol or urine)
  • If any tentacles are still attached to the skin remove them with a gloved hand, stick, or towel (none of these available use the tips of your fingers)
  • Make sure you do not rub the affected area as this may result in further venom release
  • Apply a ‘dry cold pack’ to the area (i.e. place a cold pack or ice inside a plastic bag and then wrap this package in a t-shirt or other piece of cloth)
  • Use hot water for Portuguese Man o’ War stings at approximately 45° Celsius for 20 minutes
  • Seek medical attention if there is anything other than minor discomfort
  • If the patient is suffering from swelling, breathing difficulties, palpitation or chest tightness then transfer to the nearest emergency department urgently
  • For more information on these jellyfish as well as other water safety advice visit: Irish Water Safety


About the Author

Ann Robinson
Has a passion for coastal heritage and maritime history. Loves sharing the best of the Irish coast online. Contact me ann@coastmonkey.ie or follow me on Twitter @AnnRobinson22