Monday, October 27, 2008

Hazards of Clotheslines

As some of you may remember from previous blog posts, I have been doing laundry by hand and drying it on a clothesline whenever possible. Well, recently I learned a valuable lesson.

Our clothesline is located about 20-25 feet from our fenceline near the road. My husband moved it there to make it more convenient for me. Our back steps are made of large flat stones that tend to get slippery at times. So the clothesline was moved from behind to house to the front, which also put it close to our daughter's play area & sand box.

A couple of weeks ago while changing diapers, I noticed a little rash on both of the kids. I didn't think anything of it, since diaper rashs do sometimes happen, especially if they slept through the night or have eaten a new food the day before. I treated the rash and thought nothing of it.

Well, the kids are finally nearing the end of their rash. My husband's mother told me what she thought the cause of the rash was after seeing it when she had the kids at her home last Saturday. Poison Ivy! Who would ever think that you can get poison ivy from hanging out the wash?!!!

It seems that if you have poison ivy growing anywhere in the area and the wind is blowing the across the poison ivy towards your clothesline, the oils from the poison ivy can be carried by the wind to your clothing. The kids' diapers were hung on the clothesline and there is poison ivy near the fence.

What is confirming the poison ivy theory for me is that the rashes were not getting better when diaper rash ointment was used. Our daughter's was the worst and had about 6 small blisters that continued to grow a little bit. When her diaper rubbed up against the blisters, they would break open. I began treating them with Neosporin instead since the rash was opened up and used plain cornstarch instead of a powder. This has affected the rash the most. The rash is nearly healed now on both of the litle ones.

I would never have considered that poison ivy could get on your laundry that way. For now, until I am able to move the clothesline or get clothes drying racks for indoors I am drying their diapers n the electric dryer again.

If you have hay fever, never place you clothesline anywhere near ragweed or other plants that have pollens that can be blown onto your laundry and cause an allergic reaction. My in-laws have had problems with that in the past.

I hope that this information will benefit someone and help prevent the same problems from occurring to their family.