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Oahu Beach Safety and Box Jellyfish

Description, sting symptoms and treatment

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Box Jellyfish arrive on a monthly cycle, 7-11 days after a full moon, usually on the Leeward side of the island, remaining for around 3 days. Areas affected include Hanauma Bay, Waikiki Beach, Ala Moana Beach Park, and sometimes include ocean areas up to and including the Wai`anae Coast. The lethal type, the Sea Wasp, infamous in Australia, is not found in Hawaii!

Box jellyfish are small creatures, transparent, square shaped and almost impossible to see. Around Oahu, their bodies are typically 1-3 inches tall, with tentacles reaching up to 2 feet. If you see jellyfish washed up on the shoreline, or someone at the beach has been stung, stay out of the water! Obey warning signs! Before leaving your hotel or condo, check out the Hawaii Beach Safety Website for any alerts or warnings.
Jellyfish Sign Photo
Box jellyfish seem to sting more in the morning hours when they are closer to the surface. There may be no visible evidence of a sting. Symptoms may include hivelike welts, pain, blisters, and burning, from 10 minutes up to 8 hours after being in the water. If stung, you may contact the lifeguard for treatment at the beach. Remove tentacles with a gloved hand, stick, fins, towel, etc. Don't use your fingers! Pour or spray regular vinegar on the affected area. Do not rub. Apply heat or cold, which ever feels best for you, for pain. If symptoms worsen, contact a doctor.

Severe allergic reaction, including anaphylactic shock, can occur. So call 911 if any shortness of breath, weakness, heart palpitations, muscle cramps or severe symptoms occur!

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