Learn to recognize poison ivy and poison oak.

  • It may help to remember the phrase, “leaves of three, leave them be”. Poison oak and poison ivy have three green leaves in the spring and summer; in early fall, the leaves can turn yellow or red. Poison ivy grows as a vine or a low shrub. The symptoms of Poison Ivy contact begin to appear between 12 and 36 hours after exposure. They include itchy, burning rash followed by small blisters and in severe cases, large blisters and swelling. All parts of the plant are toxic in all seasons. For more information on these plants that make you itch visit here or the American Academy of Dermatology website.

  • Teach kiddos Leave No Trace rules.

  • For safety reasons, teach your child not to approach or handle wild animals, especially sick wild animals, or dead animals.

  • Learn about asps, a type of furry stinging caterpillar that is common in Houston. They may look furry and cuddly (and tempting for children), but have a painful sting and should not be touched.

  • Remember to check for ticks after hikes! Don’t panic if you do find one; they typically have to be attached for 24-48 hours to transmit Lyme disease. The CDC has more information on their website.