Make sure your camping kids know what to look for, and stay away from!
Start by teaching them the old Boy Scout warning: Leaves of three – Leave it be!
|Click to see enlarged pictures|
- All three plants, (Poison Oak, Poison Ivy, and Poison Sumac), are commonly found in most regions of the United States, in ALL seasons.
- They ARE NOT restricted to wooded areas, they can be found anywhere there is brush or under-growth. (even your backyard)
- The danger is in the oils that are on and in their leaves and stems.
- The symptoms of exposure can take one to three days to appear.
You can even get very serious poisonous exposure from the smoke of burning wood that has the vines or stems of these plants on them.
look in warm weather camping areas.
Poison Ivy in grass
*same appearance when mixed in with other underbrush
You will also find Poison Ivy, (Oak and Sumac), climbing
trees, fence posts, and rocks.
Poison Ivy climbing on tree
*It will also climb fence posts and rocks
The Three Most Important Things You Can Do:
- Walk your camping area and look for these plants before your young camping kids do.
- If you find any of these plants, do not try to pull them up, cut them down, or remove them. Show the kids what you found and mark the area so they know to stay away.
- You can mark the spot with a sign on a stake or rope it off with a flagged line.
- Educate your young campers about these poisonous plants.
- Show them what these plants look like
- Tell them what will happen if they touch them
- As much as the weather will allow – have the kids wear clothing that reduces the amount of exposed skin. Like; long pants and long sleeve shirts.
What to do if a camper is exposed:
- Carefully remove any clothing that may have contacted the plants and put them in a separate bag. Remember, you can get the oil on you from the clothes too.
- Rinse the area with a lot of COLD water. A Lot of cold water!
- DO NOT use hot water, it will open the skin pores and let the oil penetrate deeper.
- DO NOT use a cloth to try to scrub off the oil, you will only spread the exposed area and rub the oil deeper into the skin.
- The best remedy is prescription stuff you can get from a doctor. (Prednizone, (a steroid), seems to be the most effective)
- Calamine lotion is not effective for rashes from these plants
- Some folks say Aloe Vera Gel helps, (it dries the skin), but this seems to be relative to the person using it.
Some experienced outdoor campers and hikers have recommended these products:
Prevention is the best cure. Blockers like this help stop the poison oils from being absorbed by the skin. A great idea for the very young or very sensitive camping kids.
For emergencies, Tecnu is one of the most respected and effective product lines that outdoor campers and hikers rely on. Their scrubs and cleaners are proven to dissolve and remove the plant oils, and they also include pain and itch relief ingredients.
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More Camping with Kids Camping Items you might like:
*Note – all shopping links are my own Amazon affiliate links – which I only use to recommend good-quality camping gear – Gus
Here are some handy resources and pieces of camp gear you might be interested in:
A Boy Scout Handbook can be one of the most helpful pieces of general camping gear you can have when you are camping with kids!
This handbook contains easy to understand answers and how-to’s for almost any camping question or situation. Plus, it contains plant and foliage identifications, campsite activity suggestions, woodcraft project suggestions, (with instructions), knot tying tips and instructions, ( a great fill-in for bad weather situations), survival tips, and detailed primary first aid instructions.
Boy Scout Handbook
Here are some other examples of camping gear, accessories, and tools that will make your outdoor camping trip as fun and enjoyable as you want it to be. And you will be surprised at the value when you see how inexpensive they are when you buy them online.
- Camp Meals and Cooking – Pack Smart – Save Time and Weight
- Camping with Toddlers, Babies, and Infants
- What to Pack for Camping with Toddlers
- What Do I Need to Go Camping With Kids
Camping with Kids – Safety and Rules
Camping with Kids Campsite Layout
Camping Activities for Kids
Hiking and Camp – Games and Activities
Rainy Day Survival Kit – Games and Activities
Personal Gear/Bedding Checklist
Camp Tools and Accessories Checklist
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