Preventing Poison Ivy If Accidentaly Exposed. 4 Year Old Walked in It- Help!ASAP

Updated on June 21, 2010
J.K. asks from Mansfield, OH
9 answers

Hello- we were out doing yard work today and my youngest daughter (4) was picking berries. She didn't notice that to get to the back of the berry bush you have to walk through poison ivy. Anyway- I realized she was in it, showed it to her and made her get out. She is in a bath right now and I have been told. Hottest water you can stand- wash with soap Asap to help prevent the rash.
The problem is- #1) I am very allergic and don't even want to take a chance getting it myself by trying to wash the oil off her. #2) she doesn't take Hot baths- she is more of a barely luke warm (toward cold) water kinda kid. I made it as hot as she would take it (which is not very hot) and told her to wash twice.
Anything else I can do to try to prevent her from getting the rash? As I said I am very allergic- she maybe too. My kids are usually very careful to watch for it but she was excited by the berries and didn't notice. Help- I need to make sure she doesn't get this!

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answers from Columbus on

There are products you can buy at stores like CVS. I know one brand is TechNu and they have a cleanser that my highly allergic husband uses if he even looks at poison ivy.

Good luck!

1 mom found this helpful

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answers from Dallas on

Sounds like you did the right thing--soaping the oil off right away is the best bet. But be sure to rinse really well after the bath--the water will be full of the oil. Soap her again and rinse her with a cup or something with fresh water from the tap. Good luck!!

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Chicago on

Apply rubbing alcohol to exposed skin. The rubbing alcohol netralizes the
oil and can work several hours after exposure.

The urushiol from poison ivy will bind to skin within 10 minutes. But if you clean the affected area with rubbing alcohol and wash it with water, you can get rid of the oil. Make sure you're not washing the area with soap. Soap is not recommended because it can spread the oil around your body.

Most allergic reactions to poision ivy don't occur until 12 to 48 hours after contact with the plant. Mild cases of the rash can be treated with cool showers and any over the counter itch relief products such as calamine lotion or creams containing hydrocortisone such as Cortaid Maximum Strength. If she has a rash covering more than a quarter of her body, or on sensitive spots, she should see a dermatologist or go to the emergency room.

Check out pictures of poision ivy at

The oil from the ivy can stick on your clothing and get on your hands when you undress. Prevent the oil from binding to the skin by using a lotion with bentoquatam such as Ivy Block at least 15 mintues before going out. NOTE: This is a preventative measure for an adult. I don't know if bentoquatam is safe for kids. Check with your peds first.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Topeka on

I don't know how to prevet this but Vinegar has alot of uses...I hope she doesn't get the itchy rash...



answers from Salinas on

Hi- I have two daughters that are very sensitive. Just washed the little one in Technu last night after a hike. It really works both after exposure and before. I would get some immediately just in cse. We have poison oak here in CA and not everyone is equally sensitive to it. Sometimes it's not a big deal, just a little rash and itch. My girls have had eyes swollen shut, fever and missed an enitre week of school. You just don't know until they get it how bad it may be, some people can walk through a patch and not have any reaction. Since she's so little I'd get the Tecnu, also their bottle says no baths showers only, the oil can get in the water and spread to other parts of the body. Good Luck!



answers from Columbus on

You can buy a product that will wash it off at the pharmacy, I think. Not sure what it is called, but I know that I have seen it.

Also, wash her clothes and shoes!




answers from Fresno on

try dish soap to cut the oil. it doesn't need to be hot.



answers from Cincinnati on

If it helps mom is so allergic to it, she recently had a break out from someone burning it more than 5 acers away from where she was standing. Grant it, it was a windy day but STILL!!...There are 4 of us kids and not a single one of us are allergic to it. Lucky maybe true.
Soap works if you do it quickly, along with dish soap, if they are going to work. Nothing works for my mom...she has tried even the over the counter stuff :(
Best of luck!



answers from Portland on

The washing is probably better than nothing, although I've also heard wiping with rubbing alcohol first helps to break down and remove the oils.

Please watch your daughter closely for any developing rash, especially in her pubic area if she was sitting in the water. She may be lucky and not be sensitized yet. Some people never become susceptible, and many of us need more than one exposure to become reactive.

Meanwhile, call around to some local pharmacies and department stores and get hold of a bottle of TECNU, a liquid soap designed specifically for getting poison oak and ivy off the skin. Forest service workers depend on this product. My husband is terribly sensitive, and this stuff not only prevents most breakouts after he's been working out in brush, it can also stop a breakout from getting worse – a rash can start clearing out within a few hours of using it.

Here's a website that suggests other solutions, including Burt's Bees Poison Ivy Soap:

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