Children are often attracted to the interesting shapes and bright colors of blooming flowers. While exploring the backyard flower garden or examining the flower arrangement on your dinning room table, curiosity may get the best of your child and he might decide to touch or eat one of the flowers. Unfortunately, there are a variety of highly-toxic flowers that, when touched or ingested, may cause your child to become ill.
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The fast-growing shrub Oleander produces pleasantly scented flowers in shades of orange, red, pink and white that may attract your child's attention. The leaves, stems, branches and flowers of the oleander shrub are highly toxic when eaten. Signs of oleander poisoning are digestive upset, blurred vision, irregular heart rate, dizziness and drowsiness. In the most severe cases of oleander poisoning, death is possible. If you suspect that your child has eaten any part of an oleander shrub, seek immediate medical attention.
Normally found adding color to your home during the holiday season, the poinsettia is poisonous to kids. If the sap of the poinsettia comes in contact with your child's eyes or skin, it will cause blisters and redness on the skin and a burning sensation in the eyes. Ingesting the leaves, stems or sap of the plant causes nausea and vomiting. Seek immediate medical attention if you suspect your child is having a reaction to eating or touching a poinsettia plant.
Although the daffodil is considered one of the most popular spring flowers, parts of the daffodil are toxic to kids. The most poisonous part of the daffodil is the bulb, but the leaves, stems and flowers will also cause health issues if eaten by your child. Symptoms of daffodil poisoning include nausea, vomiting, dizziness and diarrhea. In more severe cases, convulsions may occur. If your child has eaten any part of a daffodil, seek medical attention immediately.
Lily of the Valley
The lily of the valley produces an attractive bell-shaped flower that is highly fragrant. All parts of the lily of the valley are poisonous, but lily of the valley is only toxic when large amounts of the plant are eaten. Signs that your child might have eaten lily of the valley includes stomach pain, confusion and irregular heart rate. Seek medical attention if you think your child has eaten part of a lily of the valley flower.
Used either as a houseplant or outdoors in flower gardens, the foxglove is a highly toxic plant and in some cases, can prove fatal if eaten. Foxglove is an ingredient found the heart medication digitalis, which is used to slow the heart rate. If your child eats the leaves, seeds or flowers of the foxglove, she may suffer mental confusion, digestive upset, convulsions and an irregular, slow pulse rate. Seek immediate medical attention if your child has eaten any part of the foxglove plant.
- Texas A&M University Aggie Horticulture: Common Poisonous Plants and Plant Parts
- Washington State University King County Extension: Common Poisonous Plants
- University of Maryland Medical Center: Oleander Poisoning
- University of Maryland Medical Center: Poinsettia Poisoning
- British Columbia Drug and Poison Information Centre: Daffodil