Marine Stings and Scrapes (cont.)
You can limit your risk of being injured by jellyfish, a Portuguese man-of-war, or coral.
- Be familiar with the marine risks in the area where you plan to swim, snorkel, or dive. If you are traveling, obtain information about the local conditions.
- Be prepared with first aid supplies that might be needed for a injury.
- Watch for warning signs that are posted when there is a jellyfish or Portuguese man-of-war invasion.
- Do not touch jellyfish, Portuguese man-of-wars, or coral.
- Watch out for jellyfish and Portuguese man-of-wars in the water, particularly when there are strong onshore winds.
- Stay out of the water when jellyfish and Portuguese man-of-wars are present. Look out for the bluish floats of the Portuguese man-of-war, and avoid the poisonous trailing tentacles.
- Watch for beached jellyfish and Portuguese man-of-wars. Their tentacles may still sting.
- Do not rely on clothing or on coating the skin with petroleum jelly (such as Vaseline) to prevent stings. Wear a wet suit to reduce your risk of getting stung. A wet suit is a close-fitting, one- or two-piece suit, usually made of rubber or foam neoprene. Swimmers, snorkelers, divers, kayakers, and other people who spend time in cold water may wear wet suits for warmth and protection.
- Wear protective shoes when walking on the beach. Avoid stepping on marine life.
- Avoid swimming or snorkeling in swallow water, where touching or bumping into coral might occur.
- Wash your swimsuit with detergent and heat-dry after use. This will kill the stinging larvae that cause seabather's eruption.
- Talk to your doctor about carrying an allergy kit if you have had any sort of allergic reaction or severe reaction to a marine sting in the past.
- Consider using a topical jellyfish sting inhibitor lotion, such as Safe Sea.