If your child has been exposed to poison ivy, poison oak, or poison sumac, they will more than likely develop contact dermatitis.
The rash will appear as swollen, red patches on the face, arms, or legs. While the rash is not dangerous, it is extremely itchy and can easily become infected. The first signs may be red lines or streaks the plant has contacted the skin. These symptoms can occur up to a week after touching the plant. Blisters will then appear and within a few days will crust over. Most cases will take 14 to 20 days to completely clear up.
The reason the plants are poisonous is that they contain oil called urushoil which is very irritating to the skin. It’s estimated that 85 percent of all people will have an allergic reaction to urushoil.
Treatment for poison ivy, oak, or sumac is focused on relieving the itching and preventing infection from setting in. You can cool the skin with a cold compress or a cool bath with baking soda. Epsom salts and do this a few times per day. Lastly, use a cotton ball to dab calamine lotion on the infected area.
If the rash looks infected or is on your child’s face or genitals, you should probably take them to the doctor. Additionally, if a fever is present with the rash, the doctor will want to see your child.