Sarasota, Florida -- Longboat Key Fire Rescue has reported an increase in jellyfish and stingray activity and have tips on how to prevent and treat these injuries.
One way to prevent stings is to shuffle feet when in the water to scare away stingrays. However, if stung, place your foot in the hottest water that you can handle but not scalding hot. The hot water will immediately make the pain subside or be relieved. Even when the pain is gone you should make an appointment with a doctor to confirm there is no barb left in the wound and for the possibility of a tetanus shot.
If you are stung by a jellyfish, soak the affected area in a 3-10% vinegar/water solution. This will deactivate the nemocytes from firing and neutralize the pain. This will not work from a sting from a Portuguese man-o-war.
Should you experience any other symptoms (shortness of breath, chest pain, hives, etc.), call 911 immediately.
Remember to check the beach warning flags located at the fire stations for the surf conditions and when dangerous marine life are present in the area waters.