5 Steps to an Itchy Free Summer

June 9, 2012 in Children's Health Education, News - Updates

Have Some Horse Sense!

5 steps to an Itchy Free Summer

Dawn Ginese, RN

Don’t dampen your summer by getting itchy from Poison Ivy, Oak or Sumac. My First hand experience says being prepared and knowledgeable is your best defense. I know, because I started my summer with the annoying itch. I discovered I had stepped on a bed of poison Ivy while dumping weeds from my flower beds in the woods. Applying these 5 simple steps will save you time, money and the itchy aggravation that Poison Ivy, Oak or Sumac can cause.

  1. Be prepared with products in case you come in contact.
  2. Know the enemy by knowing what Poison Ivy, Oak and Sumac look like.
  3. Prevention is important to being free from the itchy plant oils.
  4. Actions to take in the unlikely event you do come in contact.
  5. Get help from your health care professions if you need it.

Be Prepared: I suggest having all your products available and ready before you take your first step outside this season. Go to your local pharmacy or get word of mouth advice for choosing good products.

  1. There are blocks available in lotion form that provides a barrier between you and the itchy plants.
  2. Have available Long sleeves and pants and heavy gloves while working outdoors.
  3. A variety of special soaps to wash off the poison ivy, oak or sumac oils are available at your local pharmacy.
  4. Itch relief ointments and lotions like the standard calamine lotion are a must to have on hand. I used Aveeno baby oatmeal bath for itch relief, it worked great. Make sure you have an over the counter allergy medication in your arsenal as well.

Know the Enemy: Do a Google search on the internet of Poison Ivy, Oak and Sumac. Go to “Images” for a variety of pictures to help you identify these plants. The plants do not all look the same although they do have common characteristics. Poison Ivy and Oak have leaves of 3(Remember the old rhyme, leaves of 3, don’t touch me.)and Sumac have 7 or 13 leaves.  A picture is worth a look and will increase your sense of knowledge. There will also be plenty of rash pictures, a great reminder of the possibilities which will move you to action.

Prevention: Remember to use the products you have purchased.  Wear the long sleeve shirts and pants and heavy gloves. Scan the area you will be working in and remove the plants with your heavy gloves. If you know you are allergic to Poison Ivy, Oak or Sumac, call your lawn care professional to remove it.

Actions to take:  Apply your itchy plant barriers before heading outside. Have some oil removing soap on you just in case you know you have touched a plant and wash immediately. Assume you will be in contact with these itchy plants. Always wash yourself with a Poison Ivy, Oak and Sumac oil remover after working outdoors. Take a shower after working and wash all your clothes in hot water. Clean your tools and shoes with the special soap for removing poison ivy, oak and sumac oils. The oils from the plants can last for long periods of time always clean everything.

Get Help: If you have tried to rid yourself of that really annoying rash and it is persisting, please don’t be a hero, get help. I was starting to feel like I was wearing wool undergarment and I was not sleeping well. I went to my doctor and he prescribed prednisone. It is amazing how effective just a few days of medication provided such itchy relief. I was on prednisone for 15 days. Please see your doctor for medical advise.

I have included my YouTube video below of my experience with Poison Ivy, and a fun set of lyrics to help you remember all that we’ve discussed today. Have some fun with it and please stay out of the Poison Ivy, Oak and Sumac.

For a Healthy, Itch Free Summer,

Ms. Dawn, The Singing Nurse


The Singing Nurse YouTube video retracing her itchy tracks.

Rap song fun, learning with music

Poison Ivy, Oak and Sumac

Dawn Ginese, RN-The Singing Nurse 5/2012

Sing to a funky rap beat or

Clap your hands on your legs 2 x & clap hand together 2 x & say words

Poison Ivy, Oak and Sumac are the itchy plants you see

If you see leaves of 3, don’t touch me, don’t touch me

Be prepared, wear gloves, use soap

Know the leaves so you can cope

If you see leaves of 3, don’t touch me, don’t touch me

If you get the itch real bad, Calamine might help egad

See your doctor, he’s the one, He will give you Prednisone

If you see leaves of 3, don’t touch me, don’t touch me

Poison Ivy Oak and Sumac are the itchy plants you see

If you see leaves of 3, don’t touch me, don’t touch me

If you see leaves of 3, don’t touch me, don’t touch me

 Other Summer Safety Posts & more you may like:

 Lyme Prevention   ♥ Ocean Safety   ♥ Stingrays   ♥ Dirty Shoes   ♥ Health Lesson Info  TSN Music


Tell us about your summer safety experiences…Was this post helpful? Comment below, we would love to hear from you. 


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