Can/should My Child Go to School with Poison Ivy?

Updated on May 26, 2011
R.D. asks from Richmond, VA
9 answers

My 7 year old daughter has some poison ivy on her neck/throat, and a little by her eye (I know, awesome). I've been keeping calamine lotion on it. We just noticed it yesterday after school, so she's already been to school with it. I mean, I would be kind of mad if some other kid in her class came in with poison ivy... which is why I'm wondering if I shouldn't send her. She's really super about not touching or scratching it, and washes her hands immediately if she forgets... poison ivy falls into my 'germaphobe' thing, so I've been pretty strict with her. I'M not allergic to it, but everyone else in my house is, and the last thing I need is a house full of itchers and scratchers!!

So.... should she go to school or not?!

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So What Happened?

I was under the impression it could still be spread... like if the effected person scratches the rash, then touches another body part, it spreads? No? I don't know ;) Google is so not helping ;)

THANKS LADIES :) I had no idea it wasn't contagious (good to know!! I can stop freaking now!!)... I sent her to school. I told her to go to the nurse and have her call me and bring the calamine lotion if it gets too bad :)

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answers from Boston on

She is perfectly safe to go to school. It is a myth that the rash (even if weeping or scratched) is contagious.

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answers from Norfolk on

As long as she's comfortable and there's no open weeping sores, she should be fine for school.
Poison ivy/oak/sumac is not contagious as long as the oil has been washed away (from her skin and what ever else may have come into contact with it).
Once your body is having an allergic reaction, it can manifest anywhere - not just at the point of contact.
It doesn't bother me at all if kids come to school with it.
I've been to school with it on my legs and so were a lot of my friends growing up.
It's not that weeping sores are contagious to others.
It's that the weeping area is more prone to getting a secondary infection.

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answers from Biloxi on

(good info here BTW)

"The fact is, there are many means on how a person can get this specific rash, even though it is not transported from human contact."

So as long as the school does not freak out, and she is not miserably uncomfortable - she should be fine.

Poor baby.

God Bless

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answers from Washington DC on

if YOU would be mad if someone else did it, why would you consider it?
on the other hand, poison ivy on someone else doesn't bother me a bit. i personally would not care if your child went to school with mine so long as it was well-coated in calamine and she washes her hands.

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answers from Pittsburgh on

It was my understanding that poison ivy is NOT contagious. It has something to do with the chemical in the plant that reacts with a persons skin, not the fluid that comes from scratching the blisters on the skin. I have never been affected by the chemical in the plant but my MIL gets horrible rashes from it every year. She has babysat my daughter while she had a rash and my daughter has never had a reaction. Google it for more information.

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answers from Jacksonville on

I don't think you can spread it person to person. I think you have to come in contact with the plant itself. I read somewhere that scratching really doesn't spread it either, the reason why it appears to spread is because of the skins delayed reaction to the blistering agent in the plant. I think as long as you cover it to be on the safe side you are fine.

My daughter has Molluscum and that is a contagious skin disease. However it can take two to six years for her to completely get rid of it. I can't keep her away from other children for years. But I follow my dermatologists recommendation to the letter about how to keep it contained. Four months into it, she hasn't passed it to anyone. I am really paranoid about it because I really don't want to give it to someone else.

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answers from Austin on

Bless her heart..

No you can get poison ivy by touching the rash.. That is an old myth.

She sounds like she is good about leaving it alone, so if she can stand the itchiness, she should be fine.

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answers from Minneapolis on

The only way to get poison ivy is by the oil on the plant. It cant' be passed from person to person and its not contagious.


answers from Los Angeles on

I went to school with countless cases of poison oak. The only reason to stay home form school is if she is down right misserable. Though technically you could transver some of the poinson oil from your skin to another's, it is very unlikely and even if it did happen, the rash in the other person would be like 1/50th of the severity. Send her to school.

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