As the warmer weather rolls in, many people are heading outside to get their gardens ready for summer. There are many plants and flowers that are pleasing to the eye. However, they are much less pleasing to the skin and stomach.
If you have young children at home, you must take caution. There are lots of plants and flowers that are poisonous. Additionally, there are several that are capable of causing allergic reactions.
Who Is In Danger?
Some plants can affect anyone. By simply pruning a plant or picking a flower, you could cause a skin irritation. Other plants cause damage by smelling them.
However, young children are definitely at the highest risk. These curious tots tend to get themselves in trouble. If you have children who are just learning to walk, like to touch everything they see, or put nearly everything in their mouths, you definitely need to keep reading.
If you have any of these dangerous plants or flowers in your garden, you might want to remove them or put a fence around the most dangerous ones. At the very least, teach your children which plants and flowers to avoid. Also, keep a close eye on children when they are outside.
What Are the Symptoms to Watch For?
If someone has touched or eaten a dangerous plant, you might notice vomiting, stomach cramps, irregular heartbeat, or burning of the mouth.
The severity and type of the symptoms will depend on the plant or flower.
What Should I do if I Suspect Poisoning?
If the person is having difficulty breathing or is unconscious, call 911 right away. If you need to go to the hospital, take a piece of the plant with you. This will help make a diagnosis. Also, you’ll want to call the poison control center.
- For skin irritation – Gently wash the area with clean water.
- For eye irritation – Irrigate the eye(s) with clean water for 20 minutes.
- If swallowed – Remove any remaining pieces of the plant. Rinse the mouth with clean water.
Which Plants are Dangerous?
We interviewed a Clearwater florist to find out which plants are the most dangerous to children. She advised parents to refrain from planting these items. If they are already in your garden, she says parents might want to remove them. According to this local florist, these are the most dangerous plants and flowers:
- Asthma or Stick Weed – This green plant causes skin allergies and can induce asthma attacks.
- Rhus – If you want to remove this fire-red plant from your garden, make sure all your skin is protected first.
- Yellow Oleander – Be careful of this evergreen tree and it’s yellow tubular flowers. All parts of the plant – even the seeds – are toxic.
- Cactus – If a child managed to swallow this, it could definitely do some internal damage. More likely, you’ll need to worry about the damage the spines could do to skin and eyes.
- Hot Chilies – While eating these plants won’t likely be fatal, the hot, spicy peppers can cause a lot of distress for a youngster. Be very careful with these plants; the bright colors will definitely entice young hands.
- Dumb Cane – If a child swallows this popular house plant, the mouth will become irritated and swollen.
- Angel Trumpet – All parts of this flower are toxic and can cause hallucinations.
- Grevileas – This reddish plant causes dermatitis.
- Oleander – Every part of this flower is toxic. Plus, the sap can irritate the skin and eyes.
- Poinsettia – If children eat this holiday favorite, they will experience delirium. Like Oleander, the sap of Poinsettias can irritate the skin and eyes.
- Arum Lily – From the bulb to the flower, every part of this plant is poisonous.
You may desperately desire a beautiful, lush garden this summer. But don’t plant things that will put your family in danger. Follow the advice of our local florist; don’t fill your outdoor space with potentially harmful flowers and plants.
- License: Creative Commons image source
Guest author Emily Renshaw is a freelance writer. She specializes in subjects relating to families and child development.