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9 Plants That Are Toxic For Kids – Don’t Let Your Child Get Poisoned!

Houseplants toxic to kids

Let’s face it – kids have a strange fascination with plants. They love to pick them up, poke them, sniff them and even eat them. And while most will agree that eating plants is a good thing, there are some that you need to keep away from your child at all costs. 

Perfectly innocent-looking plants can be toxic for kids, especially if the kid in question is prone to chewing on leaves or stems without thinking about the potential consequences. There are plenty of plants that are toxic for kids, so read on to find out more…

1. Morning Glory

This beautiful but very toxic plant is often found growing around the edges of gardens, and while it is not usually a danger to small children, it’s important to know what to do in the event of accidental ingestion. 

The seeds and roots of the morning glory plant contain a chemical called Lysergic Acid Diethylamide (LSD), which has hallucinogenic effects when ingested. 

The seeds are often mistaken for watermelon seeds and are eaten by school-age children looking for a cheap high.

While a few seeds will not cause serious health problems, ingesting large amounts can cause death. The symptoms of ingestion include diarrhea, vomiting, confusion, loss of coordination, and seizures. The best thing to do is call the poison control center at 800-222-1222.

2. Sago Palm

The sago palm is a very common houseplant. It’s also one of the most toxic plants for kids. The leaves contain cycasin, a substance that is extremely poisonous to humans.

Eating just a few leaves can cause very serious health problems and even death. Fortunately, the sago palm is one of the easier plants to identify, and it’s easy to keep your child away from it. 

If you are keeping a sago palm as a houseplant, you should keep it out of reach of children and always follow the plant care instructions so that you don’t get any leaves on your hands when you water or fertilize the plant.

3. Oleander

If your yard has an oleander shrub growing in it, you need to take care to keep your child away from it at all times. All parts of the oleander plant are extremely toxic, and ingesting even a small amount can cause serious health problems and even death.

 A single leaf of the oleander plant can kill a child, and ingesting just a few leaves can cause vomiting, diarrhea, drooling, difficulty breathing, seizures, and death. It’s important to keep oleander plants out of reach of children, and if your child has already ingested oleander, you need to take them to the hospital immediately.

4. Stinging Nettle

While stinging nettles are generally considered to be good for the body, they’re not something that you’d want your child munching on.

The stems and leaves of stinging nettles contain formic acid, which is highly toxic to humans. If your child ingests just a few leaves, he could experience vomiting, drooling, abdominal pain, breathing difficulties, and even death.

 There are several different types of stinging nettles, including garden or common nettles, jointed or wood nettles, and giant or long-leafed nettles. It’s best to keep your child away from all varieties of stinging nettles.

5. Tulip Bulb

Tulips are one of those spring flowers that seem to appear in everyone’s gardens. They are lovely to look at, and the kids might like to pick them up and bring them inside, but they are also toxic to humans. 

Eating tulip bulbs is extremely dangerous, and if your child ingests them, he could experience vomiting and diarrhea as well as serious liver damage. If you have small children, it’s important to keep them away from all parts of the tulip plant and to teach them not to pick flowers from the yard.

6. Easter Lily

Easter lilies are common houseplants and can also be found growing in the wild. While they are beautiful, they are very toxic to humans. 

If your child ingests the leaves, flowers, or sap from the Easter lily, he could experience vomiting, diarrhea, abdominal pain, and seizures. In extreme cases, he could even die. The good news is that it’s easy to identify an Easter lily. It has large trumpet-shaped flowers with yellow or orange petals.

7. Caladium

Caladium is a beautiful plant that produces stunning flowers. It’s also toxic to humans and can cause serious health problems if your child ingests it. If your child ingests a few leaves, he could experience vomiting, diarrhea, abdominal pain, and breathing difficulties, but if he consumes a large amount, it could be fatal.

 Unfortunately, there is no easy way to identify a caladium plant apart from the color of the leaves. You can also grow caladium indoors in a pot, but it’s important to keep it away from your child.

8. Ivy

Ivy is a common houseplant that many people find hard to kill, but it’s also very toxic to humans. The leaves, stems, and berries of the ivy plant contain oxalic acid, which can cause vomiting, diarrhea, abdominal pain, and kidney failure.

 If a child ingests a large amount of the leaves or berries of the ivy, he could die. It’s important to keep your child away from the ivy plant, and if he ingests any parts of it, you need to take him to the hospital immediately.

9. Mistletoe

Mistletoe is a common houseplant that many people keep during the holidays. It’s also poisonous to humans and extremely toxic to children. If your child ingests mistletoe, she could experience vomiting, drooling, difficulty breathing, swelling of the lips, and heartbeat problems.

 In extreme cases, she could die. It’s easy to keep mistletoe out of reach of small children by growing it on a high shelf or out of sight behind a door. You can also look for a mistletoe that is nontoxic to humans.

Concluding Words

There are tons of plants that are toxic for kids, and some of them can be very dangerous. It’s important to keep your child away from these plants, and you need to be extra vigilant during spring and summer when plants are growing quickly and kids are outside playing. 

If your child has ingested a plant and is experiencing symptoms like vomiting and diarrhea, you need to act fast. Always call the poison control center at 800-222-1222 and bring your child to the ER as soon as possible.

Written by Chris Buckland

Hello, I’m Chris. I’m a houseplant expert. I have been Cultivating and Growing Houseplants for 20 years. Plants are like my children. I love to write about Indoor plants and share my experience. That's why I started writing everything I know about houseplants.

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