Most jellyfish are not dangerously poisonous, but their sting can be painful. To be extra-safe when swimming at the beach, ask the lifeguards or other locals what to be aware of with regard to jellyfish and other critters in that locale. And remember—even detached jellyfish tentacles can sting if touched. Here’s what not to do (and what helps ease the pain) if you get stung by a jellyfish.

Do not rub the stung area. It will spread the venom. If you—or someone helping you—need to touch the stung area, wear gloves, if possible. Jellyfish venom can be easily spread to exposed hands and then to other body parts. Don’t put freshwater on the sting—it will release more venom.

What you should do: Pour saltwater or place ice or an ice pack on the stung area—this will neutralize the venom and cool the heat. Applying white vinegar will also help to deactivate the toxins. You can also use beer, vodka or wine. These beverages help dry out the stingers, which will relieve the pain from jellyfish venom.

Good news: Contrary to what you might have heard, urine is not an effective remedy for jellyfish stings (thank you, Scientific American!). In fact, if the pee comes from someone who is well-hydrated, it’ll be like a freshwater treatment, which might actually spread the pain. Aren’t you…relieved?

More help with pests…