As the Covid-19 lockdown starts to ease & hopefully the good weather will stay with us for a while yet, many of us will be heading to the beach. If you’re paddling, swimming or surfing be aware of the Weeverfish.
The Weeverfish is found in all parts of the Irish coast but only in sandy areas, usually in warm shallow waters in the hour before and after low tide. They are difficult to see because they spend most of their time buried under the sand. The have sharp spines containing venom on their dorsal fin.
WHAT TO EXPECT
Standing on a Weeverfish results in immediate intense, burning pain.
The pain is most intense in the first 2 hours and can result in swelling, numbness and warmth.
WHAT TO DO
- Seek assistance from a lifeguard, if available.
- Submerge the affected limb or wound in hot water, as hot as can be tolerated for up to 90 minutes or until pain is easing.
As the sting can result in numbness, immerse the unaffected limb too, as this may prevent inadvertent scalding.
- Cold applications may worsen the discomfort.
- Paracetamol can be considered to relive pain.
- The puncture site should be examined and embedded spines removed.
- Tetanus and/or antibiotics may be required.
- Seek medical attention from a doctor, if necessary.
- Call NHS 111 for advice.
- If the casualty starts to experience any breathing difficulties or a rash appears on areas away from the sting call 999 or 112.
For general advice of sea creature stings then check the NHS advice.
Our Outdoor & Family First Aid Courses both have details of bite & sting treatment. If you’d like to book one get in touch, lockdown restrictions are starting to ease & face to face training should soon be back.
p.s. peeing on a jellyfish sting is a myth – don’t do it!