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Jellyfish in Hawaii and Snorkeling – What You Should Know

snorkeling near jellyfish

Jellyfish are found in every ocean and coastlines around the world, including those in Kauai. Some people worry about the possibility of a jellyfish sting while they dive, swim, wade or snorkel in the ocean. While jellyfish can be a hazard when enjoying the oceans off Kauai, most times, jellyfish are nothing to worry about. They are slow swimmers and not aggressive by nature, so the chances of being stung are lower than you might think. While jellyfish will sting if they are accidentally bumped, there are some steps you can take to avoid jellyfish stings.

About Jellyfish Stings

Much like a bee sting or a bug bite, jellyfish stings are just a hazard of being outdoors. However, many divers, swimmers and waders will go their whole lives without experiencing one, and very rarely is a jellyfish sting severe. Generally, stings may cause pain and redness, but with proper treatment, you will heal and pain will subside. Jellyfish stings may be painful, but like a bug bite, most are not emergencies.

Tips To Avoid Jellyfish Stings

  • Wear a protective layer – If you are swimming or diving in areas where jellyfish stings are more likely, wear a wetsuit or other protective clothing to avoid brushing against a jellyfish. Additionally, consider protective footwear when wading in shallow water where stings may occur.
  • Be aware of your surroundings – The ocean is full of creatures, and while many are fun to observe, most should be observed from a distance. Whenever you are playing in the ocean, including diving, snorkeling, swimming or even walking along the beach, stay aware of your surroundings to avoid any hazards, including jellyfish.
  • Get information about the conditions – Local tour shops like Kauai Sea Tours will have the most accurate information about the area, including currents, tides, conditions, and potential hazards. If you are concerned about jellyfish or other sea creatures, the best option is to snorkel or dive with a professional guide who can keep you safe during the trip.

Treating A Jellyfish Sting

Even though it is unlikely, like bee stings, jellyfish stings sometimes happen. However, treatment can be simple and can be done at home or even on the beach. Follow these tips if you do sustain a jellyfish sting:

  • Use sea water – To immediately treat a jellyfish sting, pour seawater over the sting. Do not pour fresh water over the sting, or use other DIY treatments such as human urine, pressure bandages, meat tenderizers, alcohol, ethanol or ammonia.
  • Don’t touch the area with your bare hands – After you have rinsed the area, try to remove any remaining stingers with something other than your bare hands, such as tweezers, a towel or gloves. You can also cover the area with shaving cream or a baking soda paste, and scrape the area with a flat edged object, like a credit card, to scrape the stingers out.
  • Use over-the-counter pain relievers if pain persists – Keep an eye out for allergic reactions and contact emergency services if symptoms of allergic reactions appear or if severe pain lasts for more than two hours.

Don’t let the fear of a jellyfish sting keep you out of the water. Chances are, even if you are stung, it will just make for a funny story later! Instead, enjoy all Kauai has to offer with boat and snorkel tours through Kauai Sea Tours. Contact our team to book your tour today.

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