Photocred: Johan Claassen Photography
December Time is Near, which means everyone’s got their boardshorts and bikinis on and their deck chairs and umbrellas ready to head down to the beach.
This means that you will probably encounter every beach go’ers worst enemy… the blue bottle, being stung by one of these little guys can be quite unpleasant, so we’ve put together some quick and easy steps you can take to make it a little less unpleasant.
So obviously prevention is the best cure, here are some steps to take in order to prevent getting stung in the first place:
- before swimming make sure there are no blue bottles in the water, an easy way to see this is to check if there are any of them washed up on shore, if not it usually means its safe to swim, if you’re not sure its always a good idea to ask the local lifeguards for advice.
- Never touch a blue bottle with your bare hands even though it may seem fun to go around popping their little bubbles you can still very easily get stung by their long tentacles.
- Bluebottles die when they reach the shore but don’t let that fool you, their long tentacles can still let off a nasty sting long after they have died.
If you, a family member or a friend end up getting stung here are some steps you can take to ease any pain and discomfort:
- First and foremost, blue bottles should not be treated the same as a jellyfish, even though most might think they are the same thing they are in fact completely different. while treating a jellyfish sting with vinegar is effective it can have the completely opposite effect for a bluebottle sting, causing more irritation and pain.
- Gently remove the blue bottle ad tentacles using gloves of some sort to prevent furthers stings.
- Rinse the affected area with salt water (not fresh water as it will make the sting worse)
- Immediately after immerse affected area in hot water (about 45 degrees Celcius) for 15 – 20 minutes
- If the latter is not available, the most effective and soothing remedy for bluebottle stings grows right on our coastline, the crushed leaf of the Carpobrotus edulis, a coastal plant, is a famous soothing cure for bluebottle stings-being a coastal plant and the effects are almost instant.
*If the symptoms persist after treatment such as continuing pain, itchiness or blistering at the site of the sting, seek immediate medical attention.