(NC)—Kids and adults alike are often out in the woods in the summer, whether it's for a camping trip or an afternoon hike. Yet it's easy to stumble upon some common poison plants that can cause some very unpleasant reactions when your skin comes in contact with the sap. Keep an eye out for these unwelcome offenders:
Poison Ivy: The most common and widespread poisonous plant is characterized by its telltale three leaves. Grows low to the ground or as a vine, and turns bright yellow and red in the fall.
Poison Oak: Resembles poison ivy but is usually more shrub-like. Leaves resemble oak leaves, and are lighter green on the underside of the plant. From August to November it typically produces white flowers.
Poison Sumac: Found most often in wet, swampy areas. Each stem contains seven to 13 leaves. Unlike non-poisonous sumac, it features hanging clusters of green berries.
In the event of contact: A rash may not appear right away, but when it does it can be red and itchy. Try taking oatmeal baths for relief, or an over-the-counter antihistamine such as Benadryl, which can start to work in as little as 15 minutes. Benadryl also offers an itch spray and cream that can calm skin and provide relief to the immediate area. If the rash affects a large area of skin or is serious, be sure to see a doctor.
- News Canada