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Avoid the Itch!

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Summer is here and with it comes warm weather. It’s the perfect time for camping and hiking, but always exercise caution when trekking in the wilderness as there are a number of poisonous plants you may come across. It is important to know the area you will be exploring, and to be able to identify which plants to avoid.

Poison Ivy is a common poisonous plant you may encounter. It consists of 3 glossy green leaves, with the leaflet in the middle having the longest stalk. This plant is usually found on the edge of forests, meadows and hiking trails, which is why you are more likely to encounter this plant. It is well known to cause an itchy rash and skin irritation. The best course of action is rinse the affected area with cold water and soap. Make sure that only cold water is used as warm water will open up your pores which will increase the chance of the resin being absorbed deeper into your skin. Symptoms may not appear right away, and can take a week or longer to disappear.

Other plants you may encounter include Poison Oak, Giant Hogweed, Wild Parsnip, Pokeweed, Water Hemlock and many more. It is always important to know the area you will be exploring before you head out. When you find out what dangerous plants could be in the area, research prevention measures and first aid measures for those plants as the effects of each plant will differ. We hope your outdoor adventures are fun and safe!