Close-up of Poison Ivy leaves isolated on white background.

Experience the Joys — avoid the hazards.

The great outdoors calls to us in the summer. Keep it a great experience. Be aware of a potential hazard: Lyme disease. Check for ticks after being outdoors (if a tick is removed within 24 hours, your chance of getting Lyme disease is very small). Be alert for an unexpected fever or rash. In most cases, early treatment with antibiotics can completely cure Lyme disease.

Leaves of three – let them be is a little rhyme about another outdoor hazard: poison plants. Poison ivy, poison oak, and poison sumac all share the same toxic oil that causes an itchy, blistering rash. Be sure everyone in your family can recognize and avoid the plants. Leaves, stems, and roots are all poisonous. Remember that the oil sticks to clothing, garden tools, and even pets’ fur. Thoroughly clean any surface that’s been in contact with these plants.