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What Plants Are Poisonous To My Kids?

Among the many concerns parents have for their children, is knowing what plants are safe and which are poisonous, as children tend to put mostly everything in their mouths. Figuring this out is a number one priority once they start moving around on their own. The most common place for a child to get a hold of a poisonous plant is in the home. The most popular household plants come from climates where there is a very high percentage of poisonous flowers and other greenery. In other words, use extreme caution when choosing flowers and plants around the home.

If you own any of the plants we're about to discuss, you'll want to find out if they pose a risk to your children and/or pets. Consider these questions; where in the house are these plants located? Is there a possibility of a pet knocking them over, or part of the plant growing over the side of the pot and reaching down to the floor? In your research you'll want to learn just how toxic the plants are. What are the symptoms of a reaction? Is it life threatening or a mild allergic irritation? You might not know much about a specific plant you own and if that's the case, then consider it dangerous until you know more about it's characteristics. If there's a plant in your home that looks as if it's been eaten, contact the poison control center right away, if only to be on the safe side.

Noted below is a short list of plants you want to be cautious of:

  • Aloe vera

  • Boxwood

  • Kaffir Lily

  • Australian Umbrella Tree

  • Amaryllis

  • Angels' wings

  • Cyclamen

  • Devil's Ivy

  • Hydrangea

Those aren't the only plants that may be poisonous. Others include:

  • Lantana

  • Coral plant

  • Jerusalem Cherry

  • Calla lily

  • Arrowhead Vine

  • Aralia

  • Poinsettia

Other Plants

Not only are the previously mentioned plants potentially poisonous to your kids or pets, others include Asparagus fern, Lily-of-the-valley, Crown-of-thorns, Dumb Cane, Angel's Trumpet and Croton, as well as Peace Lily and Bird of Paradise. Cacti are dangerous from the aspect of their sharp needles that can poke your child in the eye or ear if they were to fall on one.

There is a case I can recall involving a sea onion that was placed on a window sill, however, within reaching distance. There were a few kids playing near it and the sea onion was knocked over. The kids had stepped on it and the mother cleaned everything up. In the process of cleaning the mess, she had gotten some of the plant juice on her hands and made a sandwich without washing the liquid off. She ate the sandwich not knowing the danger ahead and was in the emergency room less than an hour after consuming it. She had assumed she was having a heart attack, but was informed that it had been due to the plant liquid she had gotten on her hands and subsequently ingested.

This incident could have escalated quickly and had a much more devastating ending had it been a child or pet to consume the substance. Their bodies are not only smaller, but their immune systems aren't fully developed. As parents, we want the very best for our children. Knowledge and forethought is a necessary starting point for many of the safety decisions we make for them. Education is key and with the use of the internet, you can either have your questions answered, or be led to someone who has the knowledge to answer them for you.

If you have any questions, research the correct answer before risking putting any family members, (including pets) in danger.

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