FAAE News, First Aid Advice

What to do with a Jellyfish Sting


It is getting to that time of year when the Gold Coast waters are receiving a few not-so-welcome guests. Less than a month ago a large swarm of blue blubber (or Catostylus mosaicus) jellyfish were reported off the beaches on the southern end of the Gold Coast signaling that the Jellyfish season is here.

Unfortunately children are the common candidates for receiving jellyfish stings because of the amount of time they spend in the water and also their curiosity of trying to pick them up.

If you or your child does receive a jellyfish sting there are several things you should do:

  • If possible – identify the jellyfish. This can be difficult if you’ve come running out of the water but it is important to diagnose if possible as it can assist with the treatment.
    If the sting is from a box jellyfish for example, they will require medical assistance and an ambulance should be called immediately.
  • Sit the patient down to prevent unnecessary blood flow.
  • Wash with water to ensure no tentacles are still intact.
  • Place an icepack in a wet towel and apply directly on the sting for at least 10 minutes.
    If you do not have an icepack use anything that is extremely cold or even see if there is a store nearby and use some ice-blocks (still in their wrapper of course).
  • Keep the patient hydrated with water and even something sugary if they appear faint.
  • If other symptoms develop (trouble breathing) seek medical attention.