Poison Ivy grows as a small shrub or a vine that can trail along the ground or climb through other plants or onto trees and poles. In a landscape setting, a poison ivy plant can look quite lovely, especially as a vine, but that’s why it’s important to be able to recognize this dangerous plant so it can be avoided.
Don't forget the old saying, Leaves of Three, Let It Be. This is a great way to remember what to look out for when you are gardening or hiking.
Poison Ivy can be found throughout the United States in nearly every state except Alaska, Hawaii and parts of California. Poison Ivy is a perennial, and the leaves are not always green. In the spring and fall poison ivy leaves can be red, orange, or yellow, but they are no less toxic.
When the sticky sap oil from poison ivy, called urushiol, comes in contact with the skin, it can cause an allergic reaction. Unfortunately, poison ivy can spread urushiol to the skin in all seasons. Even in winter, when the leaves are gone, the sticky oil can still be spread by the plant’s berries or aerial roots.
There are different ways a person can be exposed to the sap oil from poison ivy, including:
About 85% of Americans are allergic to poison ivy. Symptoms may include:
The rash may begin appearing within 12 hours after contact, or it may take a few days to fully develop. About 10-15% of people who are allergic to poison ivy will develop a severe reaction with symptoms that may include severe swelling, difficulty breathing or blisters that become inflamed and infected.
The best way to avoid poison ivy is to become familiar with what the plant looks like and stay away from it.
For anyone that has been exposed to poison ivy, swift action should be taken. The sooner you cleanse the skin, the greater the chance that you can remove the plant oil to prevent further spread.
If your pet may have come in contact with poison ivy, wash them with pet shampoo while wearing rubber gloves. Your pet may not be sensitive to the poison ivy, but the oil can stick to their fur and cause a reaction in someone who pets them later.
Carefully clean any items that may have touched poison ivy. Gardening tools, sporting equipment, and camping supplies can all get the sticky oil on them.
Do your best not to scratch the rash and the blisters. Scratching the rash may bring immediate comfort but can prolong the symptoms. If the scratching is intense, it can break the skin and result in infection.
There is no cure for a poison ivy rash. The rash and blisters will normally clear up within a few weeks without any treatment.
Weeklysafety.com is giving away 10 free safety topics, no credit card required! Take advantage and grab your free set of safety meeting topics today by clicking the button below.
A membership to Weeklysafety.com comes at a very low price that never goes up no matter how many employees you have and no matter how many awesome safety topics you use. Included in your membership are hundreds of safety topics that you can use for your safety meetings, toolbox talks and safety moments.
Take a look at our website to learn more about everything that comes with a Weeklysafety.com membership. Click below to learn more today!
Download this free report today and get inspired to improve your workplace safety program!