…By Alan Peterson for TDPel Media.
A Startling Encounter
Kate Lally, a 33-year-old mother, recently had a nerve-racking experience while walking on Formby Beach.
Engrossed in listening to a podcast, she narrowly avoided stepping on a jellyfish that was “bigger than her head.”
Surprised by the incident, she was further astounded to discover numerous jellyfish washed up on the sand, as reported by The Echo.
The sight of these massive jellyfish stirred unpleasant memories for Kate.
In July 2021, she had an unfortunate encounter with these creatures when she was stung by several of them.
Recounting the incident, she described feeling surrounded by the animals after only eight minutes in the sea.
The stings affected her right arm and both legs.
Reflecting on her experiences, Kate stated that while she wouldn’t let these incidents deter her from going to the beach, she believed it was crucial for people, especially those with young children or pets, to exercise caution.
Advice from the National Trust
Vicky Blane, the General Manager for the National Trust, offered some insights into the presence of jellyfish in UK waters during the summer months.
While many jellyfish found in the UK are harmless, there are species like the barrel jellyfish and the compass jellyfish, which can cause painful stings.
Vicky emphasized the importance of staying vigilant for jellyfish both in the water and on the beach.
The National Trust recommends the use of swimming shoes as a preventive measure for anyone venturing into the sea.
Dealing with Jellyfish Stings
In the event of a jellyfish sting, the NHS provides guidelines for proper treatment:
1. Rinse the affected area with seawater, avoiding fresh water.
2. Use tweezers or the edge of a bank card to remove any spines embedded in the skin.
3. Soak the area in very warm water, as hot as can be tolerated, for a minimum of 30 minutes.
If soaking is not possible, apply hot flannels or towels to the affected area.
4. Over-the-counter painkillers like paracetamol or ibuprofen can help alleviate the pain.
Seeking Medical Assistance
While most jellyfish stings in the UK are not severe, seeking medical attention is advised.
If concerned, individuals should contact NHS 111 for further assistance.
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