What to do if you are stung by a jelly fish?

Jelly fish stings are very common at this time of the year due to the large influx of visitors to the coast.They are considered to be part of the plankton, which means that they can’t swim against the current. They can get carried ashore when the wind, waves and current carry them there. 

Our lifeguard colleagues are frequently asked to treat jelly fish stings. So, to dispel any of those ‘old wives tales’ and to help those extremely busy Hospital Accident Departments we have included advice below :

Obtain help if possible either from a lifeguard or someone with 1st aid training.

 If help is not available:

• Rinse the affected area with sea water (not fresh water)

• Remove any spines from the skin using the edge of a bank card or tweezers

• Soak the area in very warm water (as hot as can be tolerated) for at least 30 mins. Test the water before you put someone else’s hand in the water

• Use hot towels if you can’t soak it

• Take pain killers like paracetamol or ibuprofen (If not allergic)


• Use vinegar

• Do not wee on the sting

• Do not apply ice or a cold pack

• Do not touch the spines with your bare hands

• Don’t cover or close the wound

Go to a Minor Injuries Unit if you have :

• severe pain that is not going away

• have been stung on your face or testicles

• been stung by a sting ray

Nearest NHS Minor Injuries Unit can be found via https://www.nhs.uk/service-search/


NHS England

RNLI Lifeguards