Family warns other Gulf Shores swimmers to beware of stinging marine life

This child suffered man o' war stings during a swim in Little Lagoon in Gulf Shores, Ala. (Photo: Kelly family)

While the surf at local beaches has been relatively calm the last couple of days, purple flags are flying -- warning visitors of another kind of danger.

That would be dangerous marine life in the water.

One local family says they know firsthand about the danger.

They sent FOX10 News a photograph showing what young Grayson Kelly's legs looked like after an encounter with what her family says was a Portugese man o' war.

She was stung while swimming at Little Lagoon in Gulf Shores.

The man o' war looks similar to a jellyfish, but their sting is much more powerful.

The Kelly family says the man o' war was not on top of the water, so they didn't see it.

They marine life has tentacles up to 30 feet long, and their sting could send you to the emergency room.

If you're stung the first thing you should do is scrape off the stingers and then run the area under really hot water. If the pain doesn't quit or you develop an allergic reaction, seek treatment.

Avoidance is the best protection, so just stay out of the water if you see the purple flags flying.

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