Jellyfish are creatures that look like small, clear blobs and come in a variety of shapes and sizes. They have tentacles that are used to sting prey and while jellyfish don’t seek out humans, they will sting if you brush against them or even step on a dead one that’s washed ashore. The stings can cause redness, itching, pain, numbness, dizziness, nausea, muscle spasms, or more severe consequences. The severity of the sting will depend on the type of jellyfish.
Jellyfish in the UK
Although jellyfish can be found in the waters in any area, there are areas where they have been found in higher concentrations. Beaches in the UK with higher numbers of jellyfish include New Quay, Tenby, Saundersfoot, and Newport. These four beaches have experienced higher than normal numbers of jellyfish. It may be prudent to avoid beaches in this area to decrease risk
Avoid Jellyfish Stings
Since preventing jellyfish stings is much easier than treating them, there are a few recommendations to avoid them. Use these tips to minimize your risk.
Avoid Risky Conditions
Jellyfish are more likely to appear near the shore when there are high winds. They are more frequently near the shore also during warmer weather. When the weather is both warm and windy, it may be prudent to avoid the water or to use caution. Some areas may post warning signs when they have been spotted. Swim with caution in these areas.
Wear Beach Shoes
Although many people enjoy walking barefoot on the sand, it’s best to wear rubber-soled shoes to minimize your risk of stepping on a jellyfish. The jellyfish or stray tentacles are difficult to see and they can still be venomous after they’re dead. By wearing even light shoes, you’ll avoid getting stung.
Choose Protective Lotions
There are some protective lotions that can be used to protect you from stings. Pharmacies and other shops may sell this type of lotion. While they may not offer complete protection, you may still see a benefit if you come into contact with jellyfish. Use the lotion as directed to minimize your risk.
Wear Full Body Swimwear
If you’re going to be swimming in areas that have higher numbers of jellyfish, you’ll especially want to follow this advice. Any swimwear that covers a large amount of your skin will make it an effective deterrent to stings. Although you should still avoid them, more coverage is a key measure to take when you’re in the water.
Don’t Touch Jellyfish
Whether you’re in the water or on land, don’t touch any jellyfish that you see. Jellyfish will likely sting anything that they come into contact with and can still be dangerous after they’re dead. Some varieties have tentacles that are very long so stay far away or leave the water if you see any.
Although most people don’t have severe reactions to jellyfish stings, they are painful and can cause some medical problems. The best way to avoid these risks is to take these precautionary measures and follow recommendations when going near the water.