Anaphylactic shock is possible from jellyfish stings. Seek immediate medical attention if any of the symptoms of an allergic reaction: nausea, difficulty in breathing, difficulty in swallowing, fever, heart palpitations.
WHILE YOU WAIT FOR MEDICAL HELP:
* Prevent further stinging by brushing away tentacle fragments.
* Scrape off any remaining stinging cells with a sharp-edged object such as a credit card. A towel will suffice if nothing else is available.
* Rinse with seawater, not ever with fresh water (which can trigger further stings).
* Apply up to five drops of lavender essential oil to help neutralise the sting. Reapply every 15 minutes. (Pouring urine on the stung area has the same effect.)
* Start healing. Apply vitamin E or aloe vera juice to heal tissue and reduce inflammation.
Adapted from The Natural First Aid Handbook by Brigitte Mars (Storey Publishing).