Port Douglas & Mossman Gazette - - LIFESTYLE -

The Dou­glas Shire is still in the throes of stinger sea­son and the Queens­land Am­bu­lance Ser­vice has some help­ful tips to avoid those pesky jel­ly­fish. The QAS treat a large num­ber of beach­go­ers for ma­rine stingers ev­ery year. Most pa­tients de­scribe a sting like red hot wire mesh thrown on their skin, while oth­ers say it feels like be­ing whipped by a stock whip on bare skin. QAS ad­vise peo­ple to al­ways swim be­tween the red and yel­low flags, in­side the stinger-re­sis­tant en­clo­sures and lis­ten to the ad­vice of life­guards. QAS are en­cour­ag­ing beach go­ers to note signs warn­ing of the dan­gers and if en­ter­ing wa­ters to wear a stinger suit or wet­suit for pro­tec­tion. Wear­ing a stinger suit or a wet­suit is also im­por­tant for pro­tec­tion against Irukandji jel­ly­fish, which are small enough to pass through stinger nets. If a sting oc­curs leave the wa­ter, no­tify life­guards and call triple zero (000) for an am­bu­lance im­me­di­ately. Douse the af­fected area with vine­gar - just the nor­mal house­hold type - to pre­vent fur­ther stinger cells from dis­charg­ing. If vine­gar is not avail­able, use sea­wa­ter to re­move the ten­ta­cles. Jel­ly­fish stings can cause sud­den ex­cru­ci­at­ing pain and an am­bu­lance should be called and vine­gar ap­plied im­me­di­ately. Paramedics will ad­min­is­ter pain re­lief and, in more se­vere case, CSL box jel­ly­fish an­tivenom to neu­tralise cir­cu­lat­ing venom.

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