When someone has a reaction to poison ivy/oak/sumac, it's because of the oil in the plants, which can cause an allergic rash and other symptoms.
Symptoms of poison ivy/oak/sumac include:
- an itchy red rash
- bumps and blisters in patches or streaks on the skin
- blisters that ooze clear fluid which later crust over
What to Do
If a child has come in contact with poison ivy/oak/sumac:
- Immediately remove any clothing that has touched the plant or the rash. Put contaminated clothing aside and let the parents know when they get home.
- Gently wash the child's skin.
- Scrub under the child's fingernails with soap and water.
If a child has an allergic reaction to poison ivy:
- Place cool compresses on the child's skin if he or she starts scratching the affected area.
- Do not use any creams or lotions unless instructed by a parent.
To help prevent contact with and reactions to poison ivy/oak/sumac:
- Make sure that kids wear pants and long-sleeved shirts when playing close to plants that may be poison ivy/oak/sumac.
- Have kids wash their hands after playing outside.
Reviewed by: Mary L. Gavin, MD
Date reviewed: February 2015