Just before Christmas I was flying home from Bulgaria when a flight attendant asked over the public address system ' If there's a doctor on the plane could you
I was talking to my older brother the other day about his mammoth swim of the English Channel in a team of 4. They swam to France and back and he said the worst thing was swimming through schools of jellyfish at 2am in the pitch black.
Apparently, because we've already had a hot summer there has been a jellyfish bloom and of course they've been stinging people so here's what to do and what NOT to do. Starting with the latter first, you DON'T use urine to treat jellyfish stings, regardless of what US sitcoms such as Friends and New Girl suggest. No matter how you feel about the casualty, weeing on them won't help and quite frankly I can't go if I know someone's watching.
It's better to treat the affected areas with vinegar (apply for about 30 minutes depending on severity) and if it's really bad, definitely seek medical advice. Ice is also very good and easier to come by at the seaside. When I was staying in Australia I came out of the sea near Sydney with a bluebottle jellyfish wrapped round my face. The bottle part of it was on the side of my head but the tentacles were around my mouth, nose and cheeks and stung me quite painfully. A very kind lifeguard gave me a bag of ice and this stopped the pain very quickly indeed.
A word of warning though - pick tentacles off with tweezers if you can and if it's a box jellyfish (generally in Queensland, Australia and you'll know because of the pain) call medical help straight away as this will result in respiratory distress or worse.
So in my last entry I said that summer was approaching - allegedly. Well, it's here after four years and with it comes certain dangers. I'd hate for the sun to spoil your fun so observe these tips and you should be fine:
Stay out of the sun in the hottest hours - between 11am and 3pm. Drink plenty of fluids but beware of dehydrating caffeinated drinks.
Watch out for signs of overheating just in case. In case of heat exhaustion get the casualty into the shade, give them plenty of cool liquids and monitor them. Heat stroke, however, is life threatening; a red, flushed face and no sweat is a giveaway. Get the casualty out of the sun and cool them down. Put an adult in the shower, cover them with a bed sheet, run cool water over them and call the emergency services. With children take care not to cool them down too fast and making them too cold - sponging them with cool water works well - because they have a much smaller surface area of skin than adults. Call the emergency services.