Mom Sends Grave Warning About 'Sea Lice' With Picture of Child's Painful Rash


Moms have to deal with a lot of disasters, big and small. Sicknesses, cuts and scrapes, and infections abound, and moms are the ones to the rescue.

One mother who recently visited the beach with her children discovered a nasty surprise: Her children developed intensely itchy rashes after playing in the water.

They were at Carolina Beach when the incident occurred. Caroline Roberts’ three children were affected, and she said she thought others were, too.

The culprit? Sea lice.

“I have three children covered in sea lice they cry themselves to sleep, it’s like chicken pox,” she said. “I saw several other children on the beach scratching also.”

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Not only do parents and teachers have to keep an eye out for land-bound lice, now there are sea lice?

The name is a bit confusing. It describes some of the symptoms that are shared with common lice, but really it’s a term to describe the tiny baby jellyfish that cause the maddening rash.

Anything baby is small, but these babies are minuscule — about the size of the head of a pin. The adults of this variety are aptly called “Thimble Jellyfish,” since that’s about how big they get.

They’re common along some beaches, and beaches in Pensacola currently have warnings about the nearly invisible threat. Carolina Beach is not in so much of a rush.

“We would probably only put out a warning to swimmers if there were heavy rip currents of course, or perhaps if Portuguese Man O’ War’s invaded the area,” Captain Chad Soward of the local Ocean Rescue said.

The rash can appear immediately to several hours after contact with sea lice. While the obvious effect is a rash that is extremely itchy, some also suffer from headaches, nausea, and vomiting.

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The smaller the person, the more likely they are to really feel the effects of the stings. Sea lice are not usually deadly, but can cause serious problems for anyone allergic to them.

While the symptoms last anywhere from a few days to around two weeks, there are some ways to combat the pain and itchiness.

Vinegar and meat tenderizer can be used to draw the venom out of the wounds, and patients can take antihistamines or use calamine lotion to soothe their skin.

Stings occur when the baby jellyfish get trapped between clothing and skin and feel threatened. For that reason, it is advised that swimmers ditch loose shirts and one-piece swimsuits as well as remove their swimwear and rinse off as quickly as possible after a dip in the sea.

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