Five houseplants that are dangerous for small children

March 06, 2022

Five houseplants that are dangerous for small children

 It is very common to see houseplants in many homes.   They improve the air quality and brightens the living space by adding splashes of color.   Although plants add visual interest and can make a room festive, there are some that have hidden dangers that parents with small children should not ignore.   Knowing which plants small children should avoid is important for keeping them safe when they are at home.



This beautiful plant is a very hardy shrub that grows very well but it is very toxic to humans and ingesting this plant can lead to serious illness and even death.  Oleander is an evergreen plant that produces beautiful clusters of flowers that range from red, white and pink.  It is a sturdy plant that can be found in coastal or dry regions and can grow to as much as 20 feet.   It is commonly used in home landscaping and can be found in many gardens so it can be tempting to bring these plants indoors.  Avoid doing so because this plant is very poisonous and ingesting even small amounts can cause nausea, cramping, vomiting, diarrhea, dizziness and confusion. 



English Ivy

This has got to be one of the most traditional plants ever used to decorate the home both on the inside and the outside.  They are even more commonly used during the holiday season to decorate wreaths and for home centerpieces.  These beautiful plants are mildly poisonous and can be very harmful to small children.   Some people have been reported to develop skin irritations when they come in contact with the plant.   Ingesting this plant can cause symptoms like burning of the mouth, convulsions, fever and rash. 



Peace Lily

The peace lily is a very common and popular houseplant.  It is a perennial evergreen plant that features a white flower that blooms from the central stalk of the plant.  These low maintenance shade loving plants are very popular in apartments or rooms with low lighting.  Ingesting the leaves of the peace lily can cause vomiting, nausea, diarrhea, swelling of lips and difficulty speaking.  




Commonly called the elephant ear plant, the caladium comes in a wide variety and features beautiful multi-colored leaves which make them popular for decorating the home.   The long lasting foliage of these plants and the fact that they are natural shade lovers also makes them a perfect choice as houseplants.  Their colorful leaves may also make them attractive to small children which is a problem since these plants are poisonous and can cause swelling, eye pain, diarrhea and vomiting if ingested. 




This plant is a holiday favorite.  Traditionally it is used to decorate the home during the winter months and for the Christmas season.  The plant features green pointy leaves that turn a beautiful red which can be really attractive to small children.   Ingesting the poinsettia leaves can cause vomiting and diarrhea so it is best to keep these colorful plants away from small children. 


There are benefits to having houseplants.   As mentioned, they are natural air purifiers and many, like herbs and aloe, are edible and provide medicinal benefits.   Its important to remember that with small children around it's advisable to keep even non toxic plants out of their reach to prevent accidental ingestion of leaves and dirt.   Small children are natural explorers and enjoy learning about their surroundings by putting things into their mouth.   Keeping plants away from their curious eyes and hands will go a long way in preventing accidental poisoning from any plant that may be hazardous to their health.    





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