Florida lifeguards treat more than 500 jelly stings in one weekend

Lifeguards at Volusia County beaches are warning beachgoers about the dangers of jellyfish after treating more than 500 people for stings over the weekend.

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Volusia County beach safety officials said they treated 107 people for jellyfish stings Saturday. That number more than quadrupled Sunday, with lifeguards treating 523 people for stings.

If you are stung by a jellyfish, seek medical attention right away, according to officials with UF Health.

UF Health officials advise to have the following information ready when seeking medical help:

  • Person's age, weight and condition
  • Type of jellyfish, if possible
  • Time the person was stung
  • Location of the sting
  • As soon as possible, rinse the sting site with large amounts of household vinegar for at least 30 seconds. Vinegar is safe and effective for all types of jellyfish stings. Vinegar rapidly halts the thousands of tiny unfired stinging cells left on the surface of the skin after tentacle contact.
  • If vinegar is not available, the sting site can be washed with ocean water.
  • Protect the affected area and do not rub sand or apply any pressure to the area or scrape the sting site.
  • Soak the area in 107°F to 115°F (42°C to 45°C) standard tap hot water, (not scalding) for 20 to 40 minutes.
  • After soaking in hot water, apply antihistamine or steroid creams such as cortisone cream. This can help with pain and itching.

Florida Department of Health officials also advise seeking first-aid advice by calling the toll-free Poison Help hotline at 1-800-222-1222.

Beach Safety officials also said the beaches are crowded and that some beaches may be closed to driving because they are at capacity.

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