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Poisonous Plants

As part of keeping the home safe for your children, care should be taken to consider safety hazards in and outside the home. Identifying plants that can cause health concerns is vital to providing a secure environment. Helping children understand which plants are to be avoided can be taught to the smallest of them. As with the oven or stove, using a simple "danger" word will help them spot which plants are to be avoided. Here is further insight into some common hazardous and poisonous plants that should be evaded.

Poison Ivy True to the saying, "Leaves of three, let it be." the poison ivy can easily be recognized by its three pointed-tip leaves coming off a single stem. The leaves change their color according to the season. From orangish color in fall to reddish in summer and green in the summertime. The plant may even possess light-colored berries. Poison Oak has a close resemblance to poison ivy, but the leaves have more of a jagged and fuzzy appearance with a waxy shine. It often matches the color of surrounding plants, and yields clusters of white or greenish-yellow berries.

Poison Sumac The Poison Sumac has a fern-like appearance with seven to thirteen leaflets growing from a reddish stem. The green leaflets often run in pairs along the stem and possess an oval shape with a pointy tip. It too changes color according to seasons and has cream-colored berries. The plant grows to be a tall shrub that normally thrives in swampy regions. Peace Lilies

These are very commonly found inside the home, especially around in the Spring, around Easter. They have dark leaves with white flowers, that if consumed are quite toxic to humans and pets. Not only is this particular plant toxic, but all lilies are hazardous. Touching them is okay, as long as they aren't consumed. When planting outside, either avoid using them in areas where pets or children can access them, or forgo them altogether.


These large leafed plants come in a variety of bright colors, making them an attractive decorating piece. They are also known as Elephant Ears. Consuming the leaves of this plant can cause vomiting, swelling, eye pain and diarrhea in both children and pets. Poinsettia

A very common decoration during Christmas time, this plant can ruin any celebration if ingested. Consuming any part of the plant can cause vomiting, stomach pain and the plant's sap can cause irritation of the skin. Always place these plants in an area inaccessible to children and pets.


These pretty plants produce brightly colored flowers in a range of colors. They are used both indoor and outdoors. Cyclamen is a dark leafed plant that can cause diarrhea and vomiting when consumed.

To help prevent skin irritation, have your children wear socks and long pants when going outside to play. Depending on the severity, mild rashes can be treated at home with calamine lotion or cool baths. Severe cases should be referred to your pediatrician for further assistance. Before introducing plants to your home environment, be sure to fully investigate the possibility of risk to your family and be proactive when teaching children which ones to avoid.


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