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Beware of the nasties!

Wednesday 17 November 2010 | Published in Regional

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Paddlers should be wary of stonefish and bluebottles and should know that local paddlers have recently been stung by both – by stonefish on the slipway at Trader Jack’s and by bluebottles during water changeovers.

In the past two weeks, nurses have treated a number of bluebottle stings.

So be on the lookout for bluebottles – and remember that even dead ones can sting, as the slightest amount of moisture can re-hydrate their stingers.

If you are stung by a stonefish:

- Immerse the affected area in hot water – not hot enough to burn you, but hot enough to make you feel uncomfortable

- Do not apply much pressure

- Urinating on the affected area doesn’t make much dif- ference, according to hospital nurses

- See a doctor as soon as you can. Analgesia or topical an- aesthetic agents might be necessary, and severe cases might require anti-venom

- Prevention is always better than a cure – sometimes stonefish camouflage and are difficult to spot, so wear reef shoes when you’re wading in shallow water

If you are stung by a bluebottle –

- Some sting victims report that vinegar eases the pain, while others claim the opposite is true. At any rate, it’s not proven to work, and neither is urine

- The most effective way to alleviate pain and kill toxins is to immerse the area in hot water – not hot enough to burn you but hot enough to make you feel uncomfortable

- If hot water is not available, use ice packs or topical anaesthetic agents

- While it’s not absolutely vital to seek medical attention unless you feel you are having an allergic reaction, it’s still smart to get it checked out