Mum warns of irukandji

Haley Berridge in hospital after a deadly irukandji sting off Fraser Island.
Haley Berridge in hospital after a deadly irukandji sting off Fraser Island. Julie Margaglione

THE mother of a five-year-old girl who was stung by an irukandji off Fraser Island wants greater warnings for tourists about the deadly jellyfish species.

Julie Margaglione said she and her family were warned about the island's dingoes and crocodiles, but knew nothing of the irukandji prior to her daughter Haley Berridge being stung on the arm while playing in shallow water at Moon Point.

"This information should be given to you when you buy your barge tickets," Ms Margaglione told the Chronicle yesterday.

"We were on a four-day break and we've been to Fraser Island probably four or five times.

"We felt we were very informed about the dingoes and what to do when the dingoes were around, and we even had information about crocodiles.

"I'd love them (the tourist brochures) to have something about jellyfish.

"Parents need to be informed on this."

On March 16, Haley was airlifted to Hervey Bay Hospital in "agony" after her encounter with the extremely venomous jellyfish, a species more commonly found in north Queensland.

She was later flown to Brisbane where she spent three days in intensive care.

Suffering Irukandji Syndrome, Haley's symptoms included back pain and cramps, sweating and shortness of breath.

"I thought I was going to lose her," her mother said.

"I'm very grateful we're not dealing with a death here.

"I want other people to know the risk, (but) I don't want to scare them out of the water.

"I just want them to have the information."

Haley is now healthy and has returned to her Brisbane home, but her mother will be closely monitoring her.

Topics:  daughter fraser island irukandji jellyfish mother

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