Microsoft word - sample housecalls online peds_poisonivy.doc
Poison Ivy - Oak - Sumac DEFINITION
• A very itchy, blistering rash caused by contact with the poison ivy plant
• Localized redness, swelling, and weeping
• Located on exposed body surfaces (such
as the hands) or areas touched by the hands (e.g., the face or genitals). May be carried by pets.
• Onset 1 or 2 days after the patient was
Poison Ivy Rash on Forearm
• Rash is shaped like streaks or lines
Caused by oil from poison ivy, poison oak, and poison sumac plants
Return to School
• Poison ivy or oak is not contagious to
others. No need to miss any school or daycare.
See More Appropriate Topic (instead of this one) If Poison Ivy Plant
• It doesn't look like poison ivy, see RASH
• Toxicodendron radicans. This plant
(http://phil.cdc.gov), ID#1110, in the public domain.
WHEN TO CALL YOUR DOCTOR Call Your Doctor Now (night or day) If
• Your child looks or acts very sick • Difficulty breathing or severe coughing following exposure to burning weeds • Looks infected (e.g., soft yellow scabs, pus or spreading redness)
Call Your Doctor Within 24 Hours (between 9 am and 4 pm) If
• You think your child needs to be seen • Swelling is severe (e.g., the eyes are swollen shut) • Severe poison ivy reaction in the past • Rash involves more than one fourth of the body • Face, eyes, lips or genitals are involved • Severe itching (e.g., can't sleep) • Big blisters or oozing sores
Call Your Doctor During Weekday Office Hours If
• You have other questions or concerns • Rash lasts longer than 3 weeks
Parent Care at Home If
• Mild poison ivy or sumac and you don't think your child needs to be seen
HOME CARE ADVICE FOR MILD POISON IVY
1. Steroid Cream: Apply 1% hydrocortisone cream 4 times per day to reduce
itching. Keep the cream in the refrigerator (Reason: It feels better if applied cold).
2. Local Cold: Soak the involved area in cool water for 20 minutes or massage
it with an ice cube as often as necessary to reduce itching and oozing.
3. Antihistamines: If itching persists, give Benadryl orally every 6 hours as
4. Avoid Scratching: Cut the fingernails short and discourage scratching to
prevent a secondary infection from bacteria.
5. More Poison Ivy: If new blisters occur several days after the first ones,
your child probably has ongoing contact with poison ivy oil. To prevent recurrences, bathe all dogs or other pets. Also, wash all clothes and shoes that were with your child on the day of exposure.
6. Contagiousness: Poison ivy or oak is not contagious to others. No need to
7. Expected Course: Usually lasts 2 weeks. Treatment reduces the severity of
8. Call Your Doctor If: And remember, contact your doctor if your child develops any of the "Call Your Doctor" symptoms. Disclaimer: This information is not intended be a substitute for professional medical advice. It is provided for educational purposes only. You assume full responsibility for how you choose to use this information.
Author and Senior Reviewer: Barton D. Schmitt, M.D.
Content Set: Pediatric HouseCalls Online
Copyright 1994-2007 Barton D. Schmitt, M.D.
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