Anyone with a baby or toddler knows that everything goes in the mouth, especially tasty looking things like plant leaves and flowers. If you have plants in your house or are outside playing around flowers or plants there are a few plants to watch out for as they can be dangerous and even poisonous.
Knowing which plants you have in your home or yard and knowing which plants are safe to have around your child will help you avoid an unnecessary trip to the emergency room. Here are a list of potentially hazardous plants and the symptoms caused by consuming them.
Peace Lily, Philodendron, Dumb cane and Caladium: These plants contain needle-like crystals that sting if your child takes a bite and can result in a swollen mouth (the body’s way of reacting to the sting). No treatment is usually necessary, however, if your child has other symptoms contact your doctor, if he/she has trouble breathing call 911.
Holly, Pokeweed and Yew: These plants contain toxins that will irritate your child’s digestive system resulting in an upset stomach, nausea, vomiting or diarrhea. Call your child’s pediatrician if your child shows symptoms and you suspect they ate one of these plants.
Azalea, Rhododendron, Lily of the valley, Foxglove and Oleander: These plants are poisonous and can result in life threatening reactions. If you suspect your child consumed one of these plants contact poison control or your pediatrician right away or call 911. Your child may show signs of lethargy or a slow pulse.
For a complete list of dangerous plants and to help determine if you have any of the above noted dangerous plants in your home visit the poison control website.
It is probably a good idea to talk to your child’s pediatrician about what to do if you child eats a potentially dangerous plant so you will know what the best course of action is, particulary if you have any of these dangerous plants in your home.
Since children can’t tell the difference between what is an ok plant to put in their mouth and what is not it is probably a good idea to teach your child from a very early age not to put plants in their mouth at all. But as we all know it isn’t always easy to keep things out of their mouths so being knowledgeable and prepared in case something happens is important.