BAKERSFIELD, Calif. — The California Poison Control System (CPCS) is warning residents about a huge poison oak growth in the state.
According to CPCS, recent fires and heavy rains has caused an increase of poison oak.
The agency says poison oak is a serious threat especially to those who are allergic to the plant.
Poison oak is usually spotted in the mountains, grassy hillsides, forests, recreation areas and coastal locations.
According to research you can Identify poison oak by its climbing vine-like appearance and dense, leafy shrub from one to six feet high. Its leaves normally consist of three leaflets with the stalk of the central leaflet being longer than those of the other two and it has either glossy or dull leaves.
Below are some tips to help keep you safe from poison oak:
- Wear boots, gloves and long pants when hiking.
- Stay on trails away from brush where poison oak plants grow.
- If you are exposed to poison oak, wash the area thoroughly with lukewarm water and apply rubbing alcohol which may wash away the oil from the plant.
- Wash all clothing, tools and pets that have been exposed to the plant.
- Calamine lotion or hydrocortisone cream can help stop the itching, as can antihistamines.
- Do not scratch the rash as that can cause infection.
- Get immediate medical attention if you have trouble breathing or swallowing; the rash covers much of your body; you have many blisters; or swelling occurs, especially of the eyelids, face or genitals.