Poison oak plan

POISON OAK: Poison oak, ivy and sumac contain the resin urushiol, which can cause an itchy, irritating rash. If your kids spend a lot of time outdoors, make sure they know what the plants look like. But, if that effort fails, here's what you can do to treat it:

  • Within 10 minutes of exposure, you may be able to stave off a rash by wiping the affected area with rubbing alcohol. Wash with water only at first (soap can make it worse). Then shower with soap and warm water. Scrub your kids' nails and wipe off their shoes to avoid further spreading of the urushiol. Dogs can also pass it along, so give your dog a bath if it has romped through a patch.
  • To treat an all-out rash, try calamine lotion or oatmeal baths. Antihistamines may also relieve some of the itching. The rash should clear in one to three weeks, but if it gets worse, ask your doctor about a topical steroid or antibiotic.

— The Washington Post

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