With the start of summer comes more backyard time – working in the garden, firing up the barbecue, relaxing in the sun. We all want to have a good time doing activities like these. One thing to watch out for, though, is being exposed to poison ivy, poison oak, or poison sumac. 

For people who are allergic to the oil that these plants excrete, the “best-case scenario” could be having an itchy and painful rash and blisters that could last for weeks! Of course, burning these plants is the worst idea, since getting their smoke in your lungs or eyes can lead to severe problems that may require hospitalization.

The first defense against them is to be able to easily identify what they look like. A quick internet search can give you plenty of reference images to look at to familiarize yourself with them. If possible, it may be best to avoid these plants completely.

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