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Poison ivy, poison oak, and poison sumac are plants that can cause a skin rash upon contact. The red, itchy rash often shows up in lines or streaks. It may cause fluid-filled blisters or large, raised hives.
The rash is caused by an allergic reaction to an oil in these plants. The rash may occur when your child touches a plant or touches objects that have come in contact with these plants. Common examples include clothing, pet fur, sporting gear, or gardening tools.
Your child can't catch or spread the rash by touching the rash or the blister fluid. The plant oil will already have been absorbed or washed off the skin. The rash may seem to be spreading because it's still developing from earlier contact or because your child has touched something that still has the plant oil on it.
Follow-up care is a key part of your child's treatment and safety. Be sure to make and go to all appointments, and call your doctor or nurse advice line (811 in most provinces and territories) if your child is having problems. It's also a good idea to know your child's test results and keep a list of the medicines your child takes.
Call your doctor or nurse advice line now or seek immediate medical care if:
Watch closely for changes in your child's health, and be sure to contact your doctor or nurse advice line if:
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Current as of: March 22, 2023
Author: Healthwise Staff
Medical Review:Adam Husney MD - Family Medicine & E. Gregory Thompson MD - Internal Medicine & Martin J. Gabica MD - Family Medicine
Care instructions adapted under license by your healthcare professional. If you have questions about a medical condition or this instruction, always ask your healthcare professional. Healthwise, Incorporated disclaims any warranty or liability for your use of this information.
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