Poison ivy, poison oak, and poison sumac are plants that are found all over North America. Leaves, stems, roots and berries of all of these plants cause the same type of skin rash. More than 50% of people are sensitive to the oil of these plants. The rash usually lasts 2 weeks. Your child probably has touched one of these plants if:
If you think your child has had contact with one of these plants, wash the skin with any soap as soon as possible.
Soak the area with the rash in cold water or massage it with an ice cube for 20 minutes as often as necessary.
Apply a steroid cream 4 times a day to reduce the itching. Buy some nonprescription 1% hydrocortisone cream.
If the rash still itches, give Benadryl pills (no prescription needed) every 6 hours as needed.
The fluid from the sores themselves cannot spread the rash. However, the oil or sap from the plant can cause the rash for about a week. The oil or sap may stay on a pet's fur or on shoes or clothes. Wash it off pets or clothes with soap and water.
Wear long pants and socks when walking through woods that may contain poison ivy, oak, or sumac. Before going into the woods, use a skin cream called IvyBlock to protect the skin.