Dangerous Plants and Flowers for Kids and Pets

Plants and flowers are a common sight in many homes, both indoors and out. Often they are given as gifts or they are used as a means to decorate or add color to a space. Despite their beauty, plants and flowers represent a potential threat to both the children and pets that come into contact with them. Although some plants are well-known for their poisonous nature, others are not so readily recognized as being dangerous. Unfortunately, the toxicity level of a given plant often isn't a consideration, and information regarding it may not be obvious at the time of purchase. As a result, this can lead to tragic consequences for a curious child or pet. For this reason, it is important that people educate themselves when purchasing plants for their home and when giving flowers as a gift. When moving into a newly purchased home that has an established landscape, people should also take time to investigate the types of flowers and plants that are present.

Thorough research is the safest way for a family to determine a plant's risk to their family. There are several ways to conduct one's research. When buying plants, go to a reputable nursery or florist. A well-trained and knowledgeable employee can most often answer any questions about the safety of a plant. The Internet is also another way to research plant safety. A simple search for "Plants Poisonous to Children and Pets" will often provide links to websites that list what plants are toxic to either humans or animals, or both. One can also research plants by their common or Latin name. When using the Internet to gather information, it is important to search several websites to confirm any information that is found, particularly any claims that a plant is safe.

When it comes to plants there are certain things that people must keep in mind in terms of their potential threat. One of the most important things to remember is that poisonous plants are not always universally dangerous. This means that a plant that is poisonous to a child may not be poisonous to one's dog or cat. Additionally, a plant that is poisonous to one's pets may not technically be a threat to a child's health. This can lead to some confusion as some people may mistakenly assume that a flower or plant is safe if they see an animal eating it without any harmful consequences. Even amongst animals there are plants that are poisonous to one species, but perfectly harmless to others. The degree of toxicity is also something that people should pay attention to when researching plants. Poisonous plants cause a variety of problems that range from minor to fatal. Some may cause nothing more than digestive upset or skin irritation, while others can kill with a single bite.

If there are plants in a yard that are known to be poisonous, they should be carefully removed if they are dangerous to the type of animal in the home or if they are dangerous to children. When it comes to houseplants and poisonous flowers that are kept in the home, there are two options. The safest option is to eliminate the risk entirely by discarding or giving them away. Another option is to place the plant or plants in a location that is beyond the reach of children or animals. When moving plants up high, keep in mind that large dogs may still be able to reach them if they are not placed high enough and that cats can jump to reach most items in a home. It is also important that people remember that whether or not a plant is only marginally toxic or considered safe, it can still be potentially dangerous if eaten by a child. Children who eat plants run the risk of choking on the seeds or berries, or they may suffer from an allergic reaction to a chemical in the plant. Teach children not to touch or play with plants, and when they are old enough, educate them on the dangers of chewing plants. With the right knowledge it is possible to enjoy the beauty of plants and flowers without risking the lives of one's pets or children.