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02nd Jun 2022

Poisons Centre warns parents to be wary of Weeverfish when visiting beaches

Melissa Carton

mum-hacks for the beach

Important to know.

With restrictions beginning to ease, many families will be planning trips to the beach this summer.

When visiting the beach we generally know to stay vigilant of young children in the water and lathering on that sun screen but there are other natural elements that we should be aware of, especially as parents.

The National Poisons Information Centre recently put out a warning to those visiting Irish beaches to be wary of Weeverfish.

Weeverfish are generally found in sandy areas and accidentally standing on one can cause intense pain.

Similar to a Jellyfish sting, standing on a Weeverfish can result in an intense, burning pain eventually leading to swelling of the area injured.

Weeverfish are found in all parts of the Irish coast but only in sandy areas, usually in warm shallow waters in the hour before and after low tide. They are difficult to see because they spend most of their time buried under the sand. The have sharp spines containing venom on their dorsal fin.

If you or a family member accidentally do stand on a Weeverfish here is what the National Poisons Centre recommends;

> Seek assistance from a lifeguard, if available.
> Submerge the affected limb or wound in hot water, as hot as can be tolerated for up to 90 minutes or until pain is easing.
> As the sting can result in numbness, immerse the unaffected limb too, as this may prevent inadvertent scalding.
> Cold applications may worsen the discomfort.
> Paracetamol can be considered to relive pain.
> The puncture site should be examined and embedded spines removed.
> Tetanus and/or antibiotics may be required.
> Seek medical attention from a doctor, if necessary.
Call 01 8092166 if you have been stung by a Weeverfish.

For more information on Weeverfish and other safety measures regarding poison you can visit the National Poison Centre’s website here.