Plant Safety

Parents are surprised to find out that one of the most common poisons ingested by children come from household plants. 

Plants that are poisonous if ingested include: 

  • Dieffenbachia
  • Jerusalem cherry 
  • Mistletoe 
  • Holly 
  • Rhododendron

Here are some important facts/tips about plant safety:

  • All plants in the home should be identified in order to know whether or not they are potentially toxic 
  • Plants and related parts including bulbs and seeds should be kept away from young children 
  • Move all potentially dangerous plants to a safe place 
  • Children should learn at an early age not drink out of flowers or make tea with leaves seeds or berries 
  • Do not use unknown plants or trees in making play things or toys for children

Non toxic plants include: 

  • African violet 
  • Begonias 
  • Coleus 
  • Dracena 
  • Ferns 
  • Jade plant 
  • Praeyer plant 
  • Rubber Plant 
  • Schefflera 
  • Spider plant 
  • Swedish ivy


  • Know your local Poison Control Center or emergency room number 
  • If a child ingests a plant make sure you know the exact name of the plant. It is helpful in trying to find out if it is poisonous and whether or not treatment is needed.(if any). Also take a piece of the ingested plant with you to the emergency room 
  • Keep syrup of Ipecac(which induces vomiting) on hand. Remember however that for some poisons, making a child to vomit is dangerous, so follow your poison Control Centre or emergency room’s instructions. Do not induce vomiting unless you are instructed to do so.

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Pediatrician DR.PAUL Roumeliotis is certified by the American Board of Pediatrics and Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada. The information provided above is designed to be an educational aid only. It is not intended to replace the advice and care of your child’s physician, nor is it intended to be used for medical diagnosis or treatment. If you suspect that your child has a medical condition always consult a physician.