Teen spends Christmas in the hospital after swallowing a bluebottle

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A teenage boy spent Christmas Day in hospital after swallowing a bluebottle while swimming at Bondi Beach in Australia.

The 18-year-old managed to make his way back to shore after the stinger crawled into his mouth, where he was treated by lifeguards, who called an ambulance at about 1:20 pm.

A spokeswoman for NSW Ambulance told NCA NewsWire that paramedics attended the scene and took the boy by road to St Vincent’s Hospital.

He was later discharged, the hospital confirmed on Monday.

It is not known how the bluebottle made its way into the boy’s mouth, or if it was dead or alive when he swallowed it.

Bluebottles float at the ocean’s surface and are moved around by the wind and current, rather than through active swimming.

Researchers from UNSW say about 1 in 6 Australians have been stung by a marine stinger, with most of those by bluebottles.

Surf lifesavers help treat more than 40,000 stinging incidents each year, with bluebottle’s the leading cause of first aid treatment reported by lifesavers.

Bondi Beach
The teen boy was swimming at Bondi Beach when the incident occurred.
Getty Images

Anyone who is stung by a bluebottle is encouraged to put heat on the sting site as soon as possible, with best results seen if the area of skin is immersed in hot water for about 20 minutes.

If no hot water is available, a cold compress is advised to help with the pain.

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