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Friday, October 31, 2014
Poisonous plant guide
Just this month I had several calls from parents whose young kids who decided to nibble on some house plants. Those kids weren't giving any obvious signs that there was an issue. Typically if someone eats something that they shouldn't, you would expect vomiting, diarrhea, rash or fussing if there is cause for concern. Just in case I had the parents check in with the poison control center.
In California that number is 1-800-222-1222
I would hazard a guess that many of us can't actually identify the plants we have in our homes and yards and therefore have no idea about whether or not they are a potential hazard.
It might be surprising just how many common house and garden plants have poisonous bulbs, seeds, berries, leaves, or flowers to tempt inquisitive babies and toddlers. Many youngsters are poisoned each year by sampling the greenery in their own houses and yards.
If you have an exploring baby or curious toddler, it is time to take a close, suspicious look at your potted plants and garden.
Keep in mind that you should check out the plants at any nanny share and/ or Grandma's house as well.
Remember the best offense is a good defense. Since one or more of these plants may be found in so many homes, gardens, or parks, try to train your child not to chew leaves, berries, or flowers. Move the very poisonous plants out of reach (watch out for fallen dead leaves too!) or get rid of it. If you are attached to a plant that is on the list, perhaps lend it to a friend or neighbor until your little one is out of the "everything in the mouth" stage. If you are a gardener, make sure that all bulbs and seeds are stored where your kids cannot get at them.
Just like a sensitivity to food, not all kids will be equally reactive to an exposure.
Reactions can range from mild vomiting and stomach cramps to more severe seizures and heart irregularities.
Pets can also have different reactions to certain plants. It is worth getting a list of plants that are toxic to pets from your vet.
It is not as much as an issue here in California, but now that it is Fall many folks may be in the habit of moving some of the outdoor plants in before the frosts come. Back in Pennsylvania just this week, my mom is moving all of her lovely porch plants inside for the winter. Do pay attention to any plant that you child has access to.
Below is a list of some of the common house and garden plants with poisonous parts.
Plants causing severe or fatal poisoning are marked *.
Plants causing rashes are marked with°.
When in doubt, call the California Poison Action Line.
Seeds and leaves
Crown of thorns°
Young plant, seeds
Young stems, leaves
Ivy-English, German, ground Leaves, stems, berries
Young plants, seeds
Laurel-Australian mountain All leaves
Leaves, pods, seeds
Green skin on tubers
Pods and seed
Foliage, bark, seeds
Plants can cause other hazards even if not eaten. Many folks in the Bay Area have gardens full of marvelous succulents. Some of my patients have shown up with some impressive scratches from getting too close.
Teach your kids NEVER to eat any wild mushrooms.
Keep in mind this wonderful saying....
There are bold mushroom hunters and there are old mushroom hunters, but there are no old bold mushroom hunters. --- A wise person
Posted by Nurse Judy at 10:07 AM