|The general guidance for dealing with bites and stings is: to monitor airway and breathing be prepared to resuscitate to support and reassure the injured person; to offer relief with a cold compress; and to avoid infection by cleaning and covering the wound. In addition, there are some specific treatments that may be useful for certain types of bites and stings.
Ticks are tiny bloodsucking creatures found in long grass that attach themselves to animals and humans firmly by embedding their mouthparts into the skin. Ticks cause discomfort and can transmit disease. Although simple to remove, great care should be taken because the mouthparts could remain in the skin if removed incorrectly. Use a flat-ended pair of tweezers or gloved fingers and grasp the tick at its head end, as close to the skin as possible. Using even pressure, pull the tick straight up, avoiding twisting and squeezing the tick’s body. Once it has been removed, clean and cover the bitten area.
Mosquitoes are small airborne insects. They feed on animals, including humans, by injecting a minute amount of anesthetic and a chemical that stops blood from their host until they are full. Unfortunately this can leave a small inflamed area that is uncomfortable but not life-threatening. This can be easily treated by a cold compress.
In many countries mosquitoes carry malaria, which can be fatal. Should you visit countries that have malarial areas, you must seek advice from your doctor on how to protect yourself and which antimalarial drugs are best suited to you.
There are a few species of jellyfish that are poisonous. Generally those that are poisonous have long tentacles that sway freely beneath their bodies and contain stingers that inject chemicals to anyone that should come too close. Although not normally fatal, they can cause extreme pain that leads to pains, especially in children, which can lead to further damage in the water. A sting may also cause anaphylactic shock in some people.
These stings can be treated by calming the victim
and applying alcohol or vinegar to the affected area for a minimum of 3 minutes or until the pain subsides.
Should the victim suffer a severe allergic reaction emergency medical aid should be sought.
There are many marine creatures that can cause pain and infection if you step on them. Toadfish are found off the US Atlantic and Gulf coasts. They are small fish that bury themselves in the sand, usually in shallows where they hunt. They have sharp spines on their dorsal fin that can inject poison into anyone who steps on them.
Although the pain is extreme, it can be quickly relieved by placing the affected area in a bowl of water as hot as the sufferer can stand for 20 minutes or until the pain subsides. Make sure you test the hot water with your elbow first because otherwise you may scald the skin.
If the victim suffers a severe reaction, emergency medical aid should be sought.