With the temperatures reaching their peak all along the coasts at this time, parents should be aware of sea lice and the possibility of children and other members of the family coming in contact with these stinging larvae. The term “sea lice” is actually incorrect, as “sea lice” are really the larvae of jellyfish. The larvae contain the same stinging cells as adult jellyfish, which is what causes stinging, itching, and burning when humans come in contact with these tiny organisms.
Sea Lice Encounters
Sea lice are almost large enough to be seen by the naked eye when out of the water, but become invisible in the water. These organisms do not target humans, but rather sting to protect themselves when they become cause between bathing suits and skin. Safe Sea lotion can help to prevent sea lice from becoming trapped and stinging, and paying attention to local reports of “clouds” or “blooms” of sea lice in the water can help you to avoid the larvae.
Recognizing Sea Lice Symptoms
Sea lice cause a localized rash that is itchy and red, with raised patches of skin. Since the larvae sting when they are trapped underneath swimwear, the rashes will usually be on the body in places where swimwear was covering. Reactions to sea lice may include fever, chills, nausea, and vomiting.
Reacting to Sea Lice Stings
If you or your child has encountered sea lice, it is important to exit the water immediately to avoid further stings. Swim gear and suits should be removed as quickly as possible, and the area should be washed thoroughly. The swim gear should not be worn again until it has been washed thoroughly. Vinegar, meat tenderizer, and hydrocortisone creams have all shown to help reduce itching and burning sensations.