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How to treat a sea urchin sting

When visiting Whale Island Resort, guests are often drawn to our variety of water activities available, such as scuba diving, snorkeling, kayaking, catamaran, etc. Our crystal-clear water provides a wonderful opportunity to observe marine wildlife, but it also comes with the risk of getting too close to something that can unintentionally or purposely cause injury, such as the sea urchin. As a resort that prioritizes environmental sustainability, we strive to preserve the natural habitat of these creatures without causing any harm. In the event of an unexpected encounter with these spiny balls, don’t panic, make sure you know how to properly handle their stings.

Sea urchins are spherical animals covered in spines commonly found in intertidal zones. At Whale Island, you’ll commonly spot them dispersed throughout the coral reefs. If you wonder if they are poisonous, then the answer is no, at least those that can be seen around our island. However, they do have a physical defense mechanism that if you accidentally step on them, the affected area may swell and become inflamed. 

So if you get stung by a sea urchin, here are some steps you can take:

  1. Stay calm: We understand that it can be quite painful and frightening, but try your best to remain calm and avoid panicking. Notify the staff at Whale Island Resort as soon as possible so that we can provide the appropriate assistance.
  2. Remove spines: Use tweezers or a needle to gently extract the spines from the affected area. Make sure to sterilize the needle before touching your skin. Be cautious to prevent the spines from breaking and causing more harm.
  3. Clean the affected area: Immerse the affected area in hot water, ideally around 45-50 degrees Celsius for about 30 to 90 minutes. The hot water helps to alleviate pain, keeps the wound clean, and will also enable easier removal of any remaining spines. After the hot water soak, cleanse the wound with mild soap and water, ensuring a thorough rinse.
  4. Recovery and aftercare: For a couple of days after the removal of the spines, continue to soak the wound in hot water several times a day. You can also apply a topical antibiotic ointment on the affected area a few times a day after washing and drying the skin. If needed, you may consider taking pain relievers to help manage the pain and reduce inflammation. Remember to follow the instructions provided on the packaging and seek advice from a healthcare professional if needed.
  5. Consider seeking medical help: If you have tried but failed to successfully remove the spines, see a medical professional as soon as possible. Remember that you should not attempt to do the removal yourself if you are dealing with deeply embedded or large spines, multiple or deep puncture wounds, or punctures near joints, as these may require surgical removal.

By following these steps, you can effectively treat a sea urchin sting and ensure a speedy recovery, allowing you to continue enjoying the beautiful marine life at Whale Island Resort without any worries. Stay safe and have a fantastic time exploring the wonders of our island!

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