June 8, 2015
It is time for the beach!!! Everyone is gearing up to enjoy the beauty of the sun baked beach and the cresting waves. In this article lets talk about remedies for beach related issues.
What types are indigenous to the Carolinas?
Go to google to see images of the different types.
1) Cannonball - Mild venom
2) Mushroom - Mild
3) Southern Moon - Mild
4) Lion's Mane - Moderate
5) Sea Nettle - Moderate
6) Sea Wasp - Potent
7) Man O War - Potent
What to do if exposed?
First, assess the person for signs of anaphylaxis. Most important!!!! - Call 911 if you think that someone is reacting to a jellyfish sting with anaphylaxis symptoms. Use an injectible epinephrine pen if one is available. Get the person to a comfortable and flat position and raise their legs to preserve blood pressure. Administer CPR as needed based on BLS guidelines. I highly encourage all parents to learn BLS.
For more local reactions:
1) Apply a compress of vinegar or sea water and sand paste for 30 minutes. Then scrape off stingers with a credit card followed by an application of a compress of vinegar for 30 minutes to stop the venom release.
2) Do not rinse with fresh water. It can activate the venom.
3) Calendula cream or cortisone cream can be used for itching and discomfort
If you unfortunately get a sunburn, then apply aloe plant jelly directly to the burn. Commercial aloe products are available if necessary. As always, know your child's burn threshold and avoid it. Almost all children can tolerate 20 minutes of direct sun without a risk of burn. Remember that the sun is very beneficial for Vitamin D production via your skin.
To prevent this issue, I recommend using a kleenex tissue and rolling it into a needle to introduce into the ear canal at the end of the swimming day. This removes the water from the canal in a wicking fashion. Thus preventing the bacterial growth and then an infection. This is simple and effective. Never place anything firm into the ear canal for risk of injuring the tympanic membrane.
Treatment with topical antimicrobials is very effective when the first signs of swimmers ear develop. Infected children often complain of severe ear pain when the posterior ear is pushed forward.
Take home point: Enjoy the beach and be safe with these simple prevention and treatment strategies.