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  • Writer's pictureCari Mackey

How to take care of a Jelly Fish sting.

This photo looks terrifying right? Or, does it look like kids embracing a moment of freedom to enjoy the warm ocean and surf? I'm with you; being out in the ocean is exhilarating, it's fascinating, and at times, it can be frightening. Especially when there are kids in tow, the stakes get a lot higher and the fear level of the parents watching them explore with abandon can push the comfort level of concern.

When it comes to the ocean, part of the pure joy of the experience is that we cannot really see the dangers that lurk out there and while deep down we know they're there, we put our fears aside for what we cannot see. At the end of the day, when we're exhausted from surfing, swimming, snorkeling or however we enjoy the water, it's purely intoxicating.

We get a lot of questions from our guests about the various threats that exist in the ocean and one of the most common is jellyfish. Interestingly enough, for an animal that lives in every ocean around this beautiful planet, we rarely get jellyfish here and even when we do, their sting is pretty benign. It's enough to scare children but it's what a friend of mine calls a "small fall." They get a sting, freak out for a bit like Monica, and then learn that it doesn't last very long and so in the end, thankfully, it's not enough to keep us out of the water.

Now, would you like to know the best remedy for that sting so you don't have to pee on your kids leg? It turns out urine is not the best remedy (sorry Joey). If you can't stand the burn, take a close look for any tentacles that may be stuck in the skin and remove them with a tweezers then, get some hot, hot water to rinse and immerse the area. Don't have hot water because you're on a remote island? Simply rinse with vinegar which stops the cells from continuing to sting. Remember how we learned how to treat sea urchin stings? Turns out, vinegar continues to dazzle us with its myriad of uses and should be in all our first aid kits. After all that, if the area is still causing discomfort, apply hydrocortisone cream to the skin.

These brainless animals with no backbone (therefore means they are not actually a fish at all) have stinging cells in their tentacles that they use to paralyze their prey before shoving them in their mouths. While their sting may hurt and can be dangerous for us mere humans, they are not out to get us. After all, they don't have a brain so don't take it personally.

Every living being has a purpose so what's up jellyfish? If you're really upset with the jellyfish that stung you go ahead and take it home for dinner. Nothing says revenge like eating your predator hey? Don't worry, you won't find them on the menu in our restaurant but in some cultures, they are eaten for medicinal properties and the nutritional benefits. That Sea Turtle up there is looking forward to her feast of jellies who happens to be her burger of the sea. Or, should I say chicken of the Sea (that title may be taken)? That's because so many animals of the Sea feed on jellyfish which, among other benefits is to feed the ocean. In the end, don't worry, let's enjoy the ocean together, cover your skin if you are worried and rest peacefully at night knowing you can wake to amazing coffee beneath our canopy of trees so we can do it all again the next day.

Your Friends in Morrillo, Cari and Ryan Mackey Owners and Hosts Morrillo Beach Eco Resort

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