Poison Ivy

Children can be a handful when they are active outdoors. They come home all dirty, scratched up, and even track mud into the house. Though these can be tedious, agitating things caused from kids playing outside, they are fairly simple to overcome as a parent. It only takes a few minutes to wipe the wash clothes, patch up a scrape or clean up muddy footprints. What does not only take a few minutes to fix is a rash caused by the infamous poison ivy plant. These rashes tend to be red, itchy and very persistent. They can last from 1 week up to 3 weeks if not taken care of immediately.

Poison ivy is a plant that tends to have three pointed leaflets clustered together. They are typically green, but can have a reddish hue over the tip of their leaves. The plants contain an oil called urushiol that only humans are susceptible to. Your family dog or cat cannot develop a rash due to poison ivy, but can transfer its oil on their fur. So, even if your children didn’t stumble across the plant, your pets may have transferred it to them. The oil can also hang on to your clothes as well. If you know your child has run through the woods or some short brush, be sure to immediately wash their clothes and their skin. Soap and water are key ingredients to use while scrubbing urushiol off the skin. Our family doctors recommend dressing your children in long sleeves if you know they will be running through shrubbery. The less direct contact poison ivy has with the skin, the higher the chance you have to prevent your child rom developing those awful rashes. Similarly to bathing your children when they could have potential exposure to the plant, be sure to wash your pets as well when they return from activities outside of the backyard to limit the transference of the plant’s oils.

If you or anybody else in your family does begin to develop a rash, try to take an oatmeal-based bath. Also be sure to use over-the-counter cortisone creams. Be persistent with cool water while washing as well. These remedies will help dilute the itching involved with such rashes and help keep the inflammation down!