Red Cross issues advice on treating jellyfish stings

Jellyfish at Instow beach this week.

Jellyfish at Instow beach this week. - Credit: Archant

The organisation warns the common belief of urinating on jellyfish stings is in fact ineffective, after sightings of the colourful creatures rise in North Devon.

THE British Red Cross has warned the common misconception of urinating on jellyfish stings is in fact not the best option.

Joe Mulligan, head of first aid at the Red Cross, said pouring salty sea water over the sting is much more effective.

The warning comes after the Gazette revealed warmer sea waters has led to a rise in jellyfish numbers reported to the Marine Conservation Society.

“A sting from a jellyfish can be extremely painful, but trying to treat it with urine isn’t going to make your day any better,” said Mr Mulligan.

“Urine just doesn’t have the right chemical make-up to solve the problem.”

“If people have been stung, they need to get out of the water to avoid getting stung again. Once out, slowly pouring seawater over the sting will help ease the pain.

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“Doing the same thing with vinegar can be even more effective as the acid helps neutralise the jellyfish sting.

“But, unless you’re near a chip shop, seawater will probably be easier to find.”

More first aid advice is available at To read our previous story on rising jellyfish numbers, click the link on the right of the page.

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