PDF download is not available for Arabic and Urdu languages at this time. Please use the browser print function instead

Learn how to recognize a poison ivy plant, prevent rashes and how to treat the rash if your child is exposed.

Key points

  • Poison ivy is a plant that can cause a rash when it makes contact with the skin.
  • Each leaf has three leaflets that can be shiny, smooth and hairless, or rough, hairy and velvety.
  • The rash is caused by oily sap in the plant's roots, stems and leaves.
  • To prevent poison ivy rash, stay away from the plant and wear protective clothing. A helpful rule for avoiding poison ivy is "leaves of three, leave them be".
  • Wash exposed skin and clothing thoroughly. This may help to prevent a reaction.
  • The rash should go away after a few weeks. Mild rashes can be treated with antihistamines. Very severe rashes might require steroids.
  • See your doctor if your child develops a fever or if the area around the rash becomes redder or swollen or has a milky discharge.
Last updated: July 13th 2022