Savvy mum doused girl’s jellyfish injuries with vinegar
It was her daughter's first time in the waters of Sentosa when the little girl screamed in pain after purportedly being stung by a box jellyfish at Palawan Beach.
Ms Carolyn Jones, 42, a Singapore permanent resident, told The New Paper last Wednesday that she and her four-year-old child had been on an outing with another family on July 17.
She said: "It was a beautiful sunny day and the waters were clear. (The kids) were playing in the shallow waters, so I didn't think anything could happen."
After a few minutes in the water, Ms Jones went to the picnic table a few metres away to prepare lunch. Then she heard a scream and turned back to see her daughter crying.
She noticed red marks on her daughter's right leg, and another parent spotted a jellyfish in the waters.
Ms Jones asked if her daughter could stand, but the girl could not as her right leg felt numb.
"She was hysterical and screaming so loudly in my ear, I thought I was going deaf," said Ms Jones, adding that she quickly carried her child and took a taxi to their Sentosa Cove home about five minutes away from the beach.
Ms Jones, who is a housewife, said she herself had been stung by a jellyfish before, so she knew she had to pour vinegar on her daughter's leg.
She gave her daughter an antihistamine, poured 4 litres of vinegar into a bucket and immersed her daughter's leg in the liquid and hot water.
Ms Jones said: "Because of the Covid-19 situation, I clean my house with vinegar but I never thought it would be used for my daughter's leg."
Vinegar is believed to contain antibacterial properties and some people use it as a disinfectant.
Ms Jones said her daughter stopped crying, and after about 45 minutes, she took her to a nearby family clinic and was given some medicated cream.
Ms Jones then did some research on her daughter's wounds and symptoms and found they resembled stings from a box jellyfish.
Her husband posted about the incident online to alert other families about the jellyfish.
Ms Jones also spoke to another victim, Ms Jade Dyson, 28, who was stung by a box jellyfish in March while swimming at East Coast beach. TNP reported on that incident last Tuesday.
Ms Jones said: "When (Ms Dyson) described to me the pain she felt, I couldn't imagine my daughter going through that."
The girl is recovering well.
Ms Jones added: "Luckily, it was only a small area on my daughter's leg. It is important to never leave your child alone because they don't know these dangers."
According to conservation group Marine Stewards, the box jellyfish has been sighted at least three times this month at Sentosa Cove, Tuas, and Lazarus Island.
Anyone who spots the box jellyfish should call the National Parks Board's helpline on 1800-471-7300 and should not handle the jellyfish.