You’ve probably seen the cartoons of the person who is urinating on someone who is suffering from a Jellyfish sting.

Jellyfish stings, especially from some – are painful experiences for those who want to enjoy the water in the ocean. As a result there have been many folk remedies such as vinegar, meat tenderizer, to a slurry made with baking soda and water.

But in North America the most effective remedies are hot water and creams that contain the pain-numbing medicine, lidocaine. Worth keeping in your beach bag if you plan on swimming in the ocean.

This common spray can quickly relieve pain from the jellyfish, as well as prevent the toxins from being released.

Jelly fish leave stingers in a person similar to bees. These contain a sac that contains venom – the first treatment is to try to get these venom sacs off the skin as they keep releasing the toxin. Hot water helps to “denature” the venom. As with bees who leave their stinger, the venom sacs should be scrapped off and not pulled off. Pulling them can result in crushing the sac and releasing more venom.

Magnifying tweezers can help you remove painful stings without disrupting the sac. Also useful for taking out splinters. Another tool for your beach bag and vacation

Sometimes the jellyfish will leave behind an entire tentacle – and that also needs to be removed- but not with your hands.

If you plan on swimming in the golf of Mexico or in Florida where there are Portugese man-of-ars, or bluebottles then vinegar helps ease the sting. They seem to be the only species. Again, not commonly found in the beach bag, but we would recommend it.

Often they are not this blue – but have just a blue little sac. If you see these on the beach- don’t pick them up

So- for your beach bag first aid kit we recommend:

Lidocaine containing spray
Vinegar if in Florida or along the Gulf coast
A thermos bottle with some hot water in it
A pocket knife to scrape the stingers off
Better than the knife is to get a magnifying tweezer
Tongs to remove a tentacle

Another way to remove the stinger of the jellyfish- or a bee – without causing the sac to release its toxin

Be lucky we don’t live in Australia where some small jelly fish have venom so powerful it can kill people.