WAVERLEY: Maria Legge learned a valuable lesson of why she shouldn’t touch anything strange looking in the water while out swimming.
That comes after the seven-year-old, going into Grade 2 at Waverley Memorial School next month, was stung by what was likely a Portuguese man o’ war while swimming at Lawrencetown Beach on Aug. 9.
“Maria was playing in shallow water (in a full-length wet suit) and she saw something pink floating beside her,” recalled mom Kristy in an interview on Aug. 10 with The Laker News. “She thought it was pink sunglasses and picked it up.
“Once it stung her, she threw it towards shore where it washed up on the beach.”
Kristy said initially they were unsure exactly what had stung Maria.
“She came running to us and we could see some of the tentacles still attached to her fingers,” said Kirsty. “It wasn’t until some bystanders came to investigate and suggested it might be a man o war.”
The incident left the Legge family concerned and soon Maria was complaining of a burning sensation under her arm, dizzy and nauseous.
“We decided to take her straight to the IWK,” said Kristy. “She was suffering from shock on the drive – very cold and lethargic. She even fell asleep for part of the way.
“I had to monitor her heart rate and breathing during the drive.”
Now back home after a few hours of treatment, Maria is doing better, said mom.
“She’s doing much better now. Still sore and a bit swollen, and still stings a lot in cold water,” she said. “She stayed home from Cheema today as I didn’t want the lake water irritating her fingers.”
The treatment for a man o’ war sting includes rinsing the area with vinegar (it will be painful) and warm water and ibuprofen to treat the pain.
Kristy said she has had a talk with Maria about swimming and seeing strange things in the water in the future.
“I have told Maria to keep an eye out for strange things in the water,” she said. “If she sees something strange to come tell the adults and not touch it.”
Maria even had some advice from her ordeal.
“It was pretty tough and scary,” said Maria. “Stay away from pink bubbles.”