Poison ivy and skin rash in children can be extremely uncomfortable conditions, and it can be difficult to differentiate the two. KidsStreet Urgent Care is here to educate you on the causes, symptoms, diagnosis, and treatment of skin rash and poison ivy in kids.
Skin Rash In Children
Skin rashes are extremely common in children, and there are a variety of causes and symptoms of this condition.
Rashes in children can affect any part of the body, and the source of the rash may be difficult to pinpoint. A few of the major causes of a rash in kids include the following:
- Heat rash
- Insect bites and stings
- Allergic reactions
- Molluscum contagiosum (a viral infection)
- Hand, foot, and mouth disease
- Scarlet fever (a red rash caused by a bacterial infection, typically from strep throat)
- Chemicals (laundry detergents, cleaning solutions, etc.)
Skin rashes come with a host of different symptoms. Mild symptoms include the following:
- Itchy skin
- Red skin
- Bumpy skin
Although most rashes are mild, in some cases, your child may experience severe symptoms. Severe symptoms include the following:
- Skin infection
- Full body rash
- Sore throat
- High fever
Take your child to the emergency room immediately if they are having severe rash symptoms.
What Are The Treatment Options?
Some of the best options for treating minor skin rash in children include:
- Calamine lotion
- Over-the-counter ointments
- Benadryl (if you suspect they are having a mild allergic reaction)
At KidsStreet Urgent Care, we offer skin rash treatment in our urgent care services for kids. We would love to help your child heal and feel better, fast!
Poison Ivy in Kids
Poison ivy, poison oak, and poison sumac all cause a reaction characterized by an itchy rash and bumps on the skin.
These plants emit an oil that causes a rash. However, the oil is only secreted on plants that have been damaged in some way, so your child likely will not get symptoms of poison ivy if they simply brushed against it.
Poison ivy, oak, and sumac rash are caused by touching the plant.
Symptoms of a rash from poison ivy typically begin within a few hours from initial contact with the plant. These symptoms include:
- Small bumps where you touched the plant
- Blisters that ooze
Treating Poison Ivy
Although exposure to poison ivy is extremely uncomfortable and painful in some cases, it usually goes away within a week or so. For mild cases, you can use at-home remedies to treat the condition. Some of the best treatment options include:
- Apply cold compresses to the affected area(s)
- Bathe your child in an oatmeal bath
- Over-the-counter creams such as cortisol cream and calamine lotion
- Over-the-counter antihistamines such as Children’s Benadryl
Avoiding Poison Ivy
To avoid exposure, it is crucial to survey the area around your home or where your children frequently play to ensure they are not at risk for touching poison ivy, oak, and sumac.
Although these plants all cause similar reactions, they are each located in different places around the United States. You can find the three types in these areas:
- Poison ivy is a vine that you can find on the ground or on structures. Its leaves grow in groups of threes, and you can find it around most of the United States.
- Poison oak presents as either a vine or a shrub, and it has the same leaf structure as poison ivy. This plant is typically found on the far West Coast and throughout the Southeast.
- Poison sumac looks like a small tree or shrub, and its leaves grow in pairs. It only grows in extremely wet, marshy areas.
Additionally, take these steps to avoid poison ivy exposure:
- If it grows near your home, educate all your family members on what it is and why to stay away from it.
- Wear protective clothing such as long sleeves, long pants, and shoes and socks when playing near or in the woods.
- If you suspect they touched it, wash your child’s hands and clothes immediately after the exposure.
- Keep your pets away from areas that may contain poison ivy, as they could spread the plant oils to your child’s skin.
Turn To KidsStreet Urgent Care
Is your child dealing with a skin rash or poison ivy symptoms? KidsStreet Urgent Care can help! To visit a clinic, register online. You’ll be able to wait from your home or vehicle until we are ready to see you. We’ll send you a text when it’s time to head to the clinic.
KidsStreet always accepts walk-in patients, but please be aware that registering online ahead of your visit reduces in-clinic wait times. Walk-ins are added to the same queue as those who register online.