A Parent’s Assistant

I was contemplating Spring and Summer for children as they visit the Beaches and the Mountains, etc.  As I had a son and boys seem to get and pick-up every kind of critter out there and bring it back home, I thought a few reminders might help someone out there that may be brand new parents.  Don’t panic when children get into all of these Spring and Summer Maladies.  It’s the right of passage for boys and some girls…usually the boys as girls seem not to get into as much insect type Maladies as boys.  Let’s take a look at:


The Rhus plant family are the most common examples of contact dermatitis .  Contact dermatitis  is coming into contact with something that irritates the skin or causes it to react to the contact.  The initial exposure will “sensitize” the person and a subsequent exposure will result in an allergic reaction.  Contact to Poison Ivy or Oak if not removed right away results in a rash within a few hours.  The rash begins in about twelve to forty-eight hours and persists for about two weeks.  Contact can be indirect, from pets, contaminated clothing, or the smoke from burning Rhus plants and can occur during any season.


1.  Avoid The Plants

2. If  Plants are Contacted, See a Doctor and Do What He Says.

3. Cleanse The Skin with Soap and Water at Least Three Times

4.  Alcohol-base Cleansing Tissues or Wipes To Remove The Oil

5.  Relieve the Itching: Use Cool Compresses of Burrow’s Solution or Baths with Aveeno or Oatmeal (one cup to a tub of water).  Aspirin Reduces Itching.  Calamine Lotion (may help in early stages, but may spread the plant oil).   Cut The Nails as scratching could cause a secondary infection.  One-half percent hydrocortisone creams help such as Cortaid or Lanacort, etc. Do Not Use This Cream for Prolonged Periods. Poison Ivy is not Contagious; it cannot be spread once the oil has been absorbed by the skin or removed, per: Take Care Of Yourself, A Consumer’s guide to Medical Care (Donald M. Vickery, M.D. and James F. Fries, M.D.).


Always See A Doctor and Do What He/She says.

Ticks are rather easily seen, and a tick bite usually has the cause sticking out.  Ticks are about one-quarter inch long and easy to see.  The tick buries its head and crablike pincers beneath the skin, with the body and legs protruding.  Ticks feed on passing animals such as dog’s, deer or people.  In the Southeastern United States, they carry diseases such as Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever.  If a fever, rash or headache follows a tick bite by a few days or weeks…consult a Doctor.  In tick Infested areas check your child’s hair several times a day.  By checking your child after hikes, you may be able to catch the ticks before they become embedded.  Also check your pets. Ticks are often removed from unusual places, such as:

1.  Armpits and Belly Buttons, but The Scalp is The Most Common Location


1.  Ticks should be Removed.  The trick is to get the Tick to “Let Go” and not to squeeze the Tick before getting it out.  More problems can result if the Mouth Parts and Pincers remain under the Skin.  Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever is more likely if the Tick mouth parts are left in the skin or if it is squeezed.

2.  To Get The Tick To Release you need to make the Tick uncomfortable by Gentle Heat from a Heated Paperclip, Alcohol, Acetone, or Oil will Cause the Tick to Wiggle It’s Legs and begin to Withdraw. Grasp the Tick with a Tissue and Remove it Quickly.  If the Head is Left Under The Skin Soak With Warm Water Twice Daily Until Healing is Complete.  If a Fever, Rash or Headache develops within Three Weeks…Call a Doctor at Once.

CHIGGERS are better Avoided than treated.  Use of Insect Repellents, Wearing Appropriate Clothing and Bathing after exposure help to cut down on the frequency of bites.  Once you get them they itch, sometimes for several weeks. Keep the sores clean and soak them with warm water twice daily. Cuprex and A200 applied the first few days will help Kill the Larvae, but the itch will continue.  Cortaid and Lanacourt (Do Not stay on them long) may be tried, but usually are not much help.  For Chiggers doctors will usually prescribe Kwell, which is slightly more effective than A200 or Cuprex but does not stop the itching either.  Antihistamines make one drowsy and are not frequently used unless intense itching persists.


1.  Aspirin for Itching

2.  Cut The Nails To Help Prevent Secondary Infection From Scratching

3.  Warm Baths

4.  Oatmeal Soaks

5. Calamine Lotion

There are Plenty of other Hazards out there, but this will get you started.  I am Soooo Happy My Son is grown as I have had the perils of these pests in my younger years. That does not count the falls, the scrapes, etc.   I hope This Little bit of Information helps with your Spring, Summer and Fall.  My Policy is, Keep A Doctor Nearby.

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