Hot water or vinegar? How to avoid bluebottles, and what to do if you’re stung | Life and style

The beach children’s pool is supposed to provide shelter away from the dangers of the sea, but North Bondi is called the “nightmare children’s pool”.

Earlier this month, if there was a puncture wound on plastic waste, the pool was covered with a blue bottle like the tip of a trash.

However, while this species may be known as the Pacific Man-of-War, this summer’s visitors don’t have to be enemies, given some simple coping strategies.

Laura Jays

Nightmare children’s pool

February 6, 2021

Do you have more blue bottles this year?

“There certainly seems to be a lot this year,” says Matt Spooner, director of Surf Lifesaving Sydney. “But this time of year, blue bottles are very common along the coast. Recently, there have been fairly regular northeasterly winds. This seems to bring a lot of blowflies from offshore.”

Dr. Lisa Ann Gershwin, Director and Co-Creator of Marine Stinger Advisory Services in Australia, when asked if there was an increase Jellyfish app “I stick to the honest answer-that’s what we don’t know,” he says. Gershwin, despite having a great influence on Australians 10,000 to 30,000 The annually reported stings along the East Coast have no studies on the number of blue bottles due to lack of funding.

“I think we can do better so that people can have a safe and enjoyable time on the beach … If we can give predictions in the hands of people, it will help us to suggest which beach to go to. “

Some beaches along Sydney and the Sunshine Coast have recently been particularly flooded. Gershwin says blue bottles are more commonly found on surf beaches. “Inevitably, it’s common on such windy beaches, so surf the beach instead of the enclosed coves … it’s a function of the way. [bluebottles] Travel. “

Warm waters also affect the number of Blue Bottles. “For many types of jellyfish, warming the water will allow the jellyfish to grow further, both in terms of personal growth. [the organism itself grows faster] Not only population growth. As a result, there will be more jellyfish overall, “says Gershwin.

She also emphasizes that warmer water can produce larger storms, which in turn causes more wind and means more blue bottles on the beach.

Jenny Heart

On January 28, the total length of Narawary Beach on the south coast of New South Wales looks like this.

February 6, 2021

If there are more blue bottles on the beach, does that mean more underwater?

“Of course,” says Gershwin. “Imagine in the open ocean, there is a large population of these blowflies, which have right-handed and left-handed forms. They have sails, and for some it is right-handed diagonal, For some it is left-handed diagonal.

“When the wind blows, we grab one that has a sail pointing in the right direction to the wind and leave others behind. They navigate the wind. When there are mountains on the beach, they drive. There are mountains that have not been. “

Spooner asserts that beach blowflies are a great indicator that there are likely to be blowflies in the ocean.He can find up-to-date information on conditions including marine stinger from life savers and life guards patrolling on the beach, or Beach safe website..

This is true even if the blue bottle on the beach looks dry. “Generally, when the tentacles dry, they tend to lose their effectiveness,” says Spooner. However, “If you find a blue bottle on the beach, it’s always best to leave the blue bottle in place, even if it looks beautiful. It can be difficult to determine if the blue bottle still stings you. . “

Does that mean you shouldn’t swim?

“It’s important to note that blue bottle stings can be painful, especially if you’ve never experienced them before,” says Spooner. “If you’re worried about getting stung, it’s best to go back to the swim on another day.”

Gershwin says the answer is relative and depends on tolerance to pain. Some people find the puncture wound “not a big deal” and others prefer to abandon the risk with a self-declared “fuss” like themselves.

According to Spooner, blue bottle stings can be dangerous, especially for young children and those who have an allergic reaction to bee stings. “Stab wounds are very painful and can be painful to the person being stabbed, so it’s best to stay away if you’re worried.”

If you have a large number of blowflies in the water, you can also choose for you.

“Life savers and life guards constantly assess the risks to the public when managing beaches. Marine puncture wounds form part of it,” says Spooner. “Swimming is certainly not recommended when the general public is at great risk, but this decision is usually made on a case-by-case basis.”

Is there a way to swim without being stabbed?

According to Gershwin, wearing protective swimwear such as full-body lycra suits, neoprene wetsuits, long-sleeved rush shirts, and long trousers can prevent skin stabs. However, some areas, such as the hands and feet, may still be exposed.

What is the best way to treat a sting?

According to Gershwin, the best treatment for blue bottle stings is to rinse well with seawater and use boiling water or ice for pain.

Surf Life Saving Australia Beach Safe App Also, since blue bottles usually cannot pierce hard skin, it is advisable to wash away the remaining tentacles that can be picked with your fingers.

Gerswhin says that stinging pain usually lasts for 30 minutes and then self-solves.

Pour vinegar on puncture wounds is very important for tropical marine puncture wounds, but not for non-tropical puncture wounds such as blue bottles.

The Australian Resuscitation Council recommends vinegar to treat box jellyfish stings “only in tropical areas where box jellyfish and carukia barnesi occur”.

Gershwin is in the tropics, essentially in the upper half of the continent, “highly likely to be bitten by box jellyfish and carukia barnesi, they can really knock you out … vinegar is a necessary and proper treatment The law is these stings. Vinegar can neutralize stinging cells that have not yet been poisoned and save your life. “

Gershwin says that the bluebottle, which accounts for the overwhelming majority of stings, is usually not medically dangerous. However, much rarer Giant species of blue bottle Occasionally occurs in New South Wales and Queensland – is dangerous. It has nothing to do with Irukandji species, but it can cause fatal Irukandji syndrome.

“Fortunately, it’s very rare and we don’t get a lot of puncture wounds from it. It’s so scary to get used to seeing the bluebottle, so it has its own warning system built in. It’s big, “says Gershwin.

How about pets? What if your dog eats a blue bottle?

“Fortunately, most dogs have good fur protection, but they are very curious creatures, looking at the blue bottles on the beach with their noses and mouths, and accidentally touching them while swimming. “It’s possible,” says Dr. Mark Howarth, one of the ICU’s chief veterinarians. He is an emergency and critical care specialist at the University of Queensland Veterinary School.

Haworth states that the tentacles need to be removed immediately and carefully, and the area should be irrigated with seawater when possible. Hot water immersion of the affected area is the preferred treatment for people, but it is difficult for dogs to try it.

A hot pack at about 42 ° C is an alternative to pain relief, but attention should be paid to the temperature of the hot pack to avoid burns. Cold packs may also help, but they are not very effective. These treatments are usually not readily available or feasible for dogs, so the best advice is to take your pet to a local veterinarian who can do a physical examination and relieve the animal’s pain. He also recommends observing the animals carefully for several hours.

It is especially important to take your dog to a vet if it is stabbed in or near your mouth. “Local tissue swelling in the mouth and larynx can interfere with breathing. Obviously this is a bad thing and an emergency if it happens.” Howarth said. He says that attention should be paid to long-term inhalation. “If you show this, you need an immediate evaluation by a veterinarian.”

Haworth says it’s “unlikely” for an animal to ingest a blue bottle, but “you never know. Some dogs will wolf something in the second flat. “.

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