To pee or not to pee? Red Cross says using urine on jellyfish stings won't help
Charlie Cooper is Health Correspondent for The Independent, i, and The Independent on Sunday, writing on the NHS, medical advances, and international health. Since joining the papers as an editorial assistant, he has been nominated for young journalist of the year at both the Press Awards and the British Journalism Awards.
Tuesday 30 July 2013
An unexpected boom in the number of jellyfish swarming around our coasts has prompted an unusual warning from the British Red Cross – don’t pee on a jellyfish sting.
The widespread belief that urine is the best cure for a jellyfish sting is probably best-known from an episode of Friends in which Chandler has to urinate on Monica’s leg after she is stung.
But following warnings from the Marine Conservation Society that the warm weather has sparked an increase in the numbers of several species of jellyfish, the British Red Cross has warned beach-goers not to believe “the old myth”.
“A sting from a jellyfish can be extremely painful, but trying to treat it with urine isn’t going to make your day any better,” said Joe Mulligan, head of first aid at the British Red Cross.
“Urine just doesn’t have the right chemical make-up to solve the problem,” he added.
A better treatment would be to pour seawater or vinegar over the sting.
“If people get stung, they need to get out of the water to avoid getting stung again. Once out, slowly pouring seawater over the sting will help ease the pain,” said Mr Mulligan. “Doing the same thing with vinegar can be even more effective as the acid helps neutralise the jellyfish sting. But unless you’re near a chip shop, seawater will probably be easier to find.”
Life & Style blogs
iPhone 6S price: new handset to cost the same, Apple unlikely to increase phones' storage
A daily walk 'can add seven years to your life'
Pansexual: What is it - and when did the word become popular?
Ashley Madison leak reveals Cambridge as the UK's cheating capital
What do the emojis on Snapchat mean?
- 1 VMAs 2015: Was Nicki Minaj and Miley Cyrus' awkward acceptance put-down real or staged?
- 2 If you're not already angry about the migrant crisis, here's a history lesson to remind you why you really should be
- 3 Rules on 5p plastic bags likely to lead to arguments at the check-out
- 4 Chaos breaks out in courtroom as father attacks killer of three-year-old daughter
- 5 Blood Moon and Supermoon: September to bring brightest – and dimmest – full Moon of the year on same night
£20000 - £30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This award-winning company, whi...
£40000 - £50000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is a unique & exciting opp...
£35000 - £45000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: You will be working with a 8 st...
£8000 - £12000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A unique opportunity has arisen ...