3 stung on Fire Island by Portuguese man-of-wars

FIRE ISLAND, N.Y. (WABC) -- Two children were stung by Portuguese man-of-wars on Fire Island Tuesday.

At 12:17 p.m., a 4-year-old boy was stung in Davis Park. At 3:08 p.m., a 7-year-old was stung on the hand in Kismet, also on Fire Island. They were taken to Southside Hospital in Bay Shore.

Another person was stung on the Davis Park beach, but declined medical assistance.

"It was like, this big. It was light blue, and it was just like, floating on the surface," said Michael Schanz, stung by man-of-war.

The 7-year-old wants to make sure the others on the beach in Fire Island know exactly what to look out for.

He actually thought this was some sort of football or balloon Tuesday, but it wasn't.

If you look closely you can see the tentacles on the Portuguese man-of-war.

"What did it feel like?" Eyewitness News asked.

"It felt like a thousand bees stinging me at once," Michael said.

"His reaction was what scared me," said Sharon Schanz, Michael's mother.

"What was his reaction?" Eyewitness News asked.

"He was just screaming, screaming, very, a lot of pain," Sharon said.

It's much worse than a typical jellyfish sting.

"This pain was not going away. The whole time, he just felt like needles were being pushed through his skin," said Craig Amarando, the chief lifeguard at Fire Island Ocean Rescue.

Lifeguards say it's more of a potential threat as well.

"Their sting is much more severe and they can probably hurt, or possibly kill a kid," said Frank Lepore, Islip Senior Chief Lifeguard.

"A kid?" Eyewitness News asked.

"Yeah, it could put them into anaphylactic shock, which will make their airway close," Lepore said.

The Portuguese man-of-war began turning up in New Jersey about a week ago, but the southwest wind has now brought them to Fire Island.

In fact, six of them were spotted as of Wednesday.

Michael is one of two boys now stung, but fortunately, after a trip to the hospital he was back on the beach and helping others stay vigilant without being too afraid.

"Well, we're here on vacation with all my friends and family. We're like; can we still go to the beach? So listen, we can't live in fear," said Amanda Fox, a beachgoer.
Michael is just grateful to those who literally pulled the tentacles out of his hand, and is already feeling much, much better.

"He says he's going in the water today!" a lifeguard said.

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