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Home >  Information A-ZAll Kids Information Articles Babies and Plants

Babies and Plants

Almost every household has at least one live plant inside. Even if you do not possess a green thumb, and therefore do not having any living plants in your home, your baby could still encounter dangerous plants outside or in the homes of others. The best way to keep your baby from accidental poisoning due to ingesting a dangerous plant is to know which plants are dangerous and what to do if your child ingests one.

The following is a list of poisonous plants that you and your child could encounter.

• Mistletoe

• Holly

• Poinsettias

• Jerusalem cherry

• Rhododendron

• Dieffenbachia

In order to be able to recognize these plants, it is a good idea to visit your local plant nursery or your local library for descriptions of these plants and a colored picture.

If your child does ingest the leaves, stems or flowers of any of this plants, then you need to immediately call the Poison Control Center. When calling, make sure that you know the exact name of the plant that your child ingested. If you do not know the name, it may help to have a detailed description of the plant on hand. If you are instructed to take your child to the emergency room, it is a good idea to bring along a large piece of the plant for the doctor to identify.

You may also be instructed to induce vomiting in your child. Giving your child a dose of syrup of Ipecac is the most common way to accomplish this. However, never give this medication to your child without getting permission to do so. Some poisons may be more harmful if they are vomited, so it is best to wait instructions from the Poison Control center.

To cut down on the chances that your child will ingest a poisonous plant, it is best to follow these guidelines.

• Identify all houseplants before your child is allowed to be around them. This includes any plants that will be in sight at other people's houses.

• Try to keep all plants, whether poisonous or not, out of reach of your children. If nonpoisonous plants are kept in reach of children, they may see all plants as safe and be more apt to play with an unsafe plant.

• Do not allow your child to eat any type of plant. Many parents know that some plants such as honeysuckle and "pickle grass" are not harmful and that children like the taste of these plants. However, allowing your child to eat these types of plants could lead to them thinking that it is ok to eat all types of plants.

If you have a child that is too young to understand the dangers of some plants, yet you still like the benefits of having live plants in your home you should choose a plant that is proven safe for children. A few examples of these types of plants are:

• African violets

• Begonias

• Ferns

• Jade plants

• Rubber plants

• Spider plants

• Swedish ivy

With all plants however, you should still discourage your child from playing with them and ingesting them.

You should also store all planting materials, such as treated soils and growing chemicals, out of the reach of children and teach them not to play with these types of items.


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