Summer is the time to be outdoors. Whether you’re hitting the trail or on the hunt for Pokemon there’s nothing like getting some good vitamin D.
While you’re outdoors doing what you do, can you identify our local poisonous plants? Here’s a quick refresher of the top three to watch for.
“Leaves of three leave them be” indeed. Poison ivy has solid green leaves that hang from the stem in groups of three and grows both as a vine and a shrub. Know the leaves because they can change with the seasons. In the spring, they produce yellow-green flowers with green leaves, and in the fall they do not bloom and have yellow and red leaves.
Similar to poison ivy, poison oak has leaves that hang in groups of three, but the leaves are a darker green with ridged edges. They grow most commonly in the form of shrubs but can also grow as a vine.
Watch for poison sumac near bodies of water. They tend to grow as a tall shrub or small tree with seven to 13 leaves on each stem. The stem is red and the leaves have smooth edges.
Think you’ve come in contact with one of the above?
As soon as possible, take a shower with warm soapy water. Wash all of your clothes and anything that may have come in contact with the plants -including counter tops. Was your dog with you? Give him or her a bath as well. The oils can be transferred from a dog’s fur to your skin. If you’re starting to itch, do not scratch. Apply hydrocortisone or calamine lotion. Most importantly, listen to your instincts. If you feel you could be having an allergic reaction, call your doctor immediately.