Wild Plant Safety Tips to Teach Your Children

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  • Stress the importance of never tasting anything growing in the woods including leaves, twigs, berries and mushrooms.
  • Learn what poison oak, poison ivy and poison sumac look like and show your child samples or pictures of all 3. Teach the old adage, "Leaflets 3, let it be," regarding poison ivy and poison oak. Also show your child the familiar sumac shrub or tree, especially recognizable in late summer and fall because of its red leaves. Explain that just touching these plants can make the skin itch and the mouth burn.
  • Should your child develop a rash after contact with a poisonous plant, wash the area with soap and water, apply ice or a cool, wet towel and use calamine or a similar lotion to stop the itch.

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