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Protect your Child from Poisonous Plants

Updated on October 17, 2012

Your beautiful Garden May Be Poisonous!

Honeysuckle Berries
Honeysuckle Berries | Source

Be Aware of the Plants in your Garden

It is always attractive and exciting to see a garden that is full of colour and bloom. However it is important to consider who will be using your garden as it blooms. If you have a garden that will be occupied by children on a regular basis then is of the utmost importance that the garden is a safe place and that none of the plants in your garden pose the potential of poisoning a curious little one. This is especially important for parents of very small children, childminders and for childcare facilities.

I have created a list of some of the most dangerous of these plants. However it is always a good idea to check with your nursery before purchasing any new plants as a good horticulturist will be able to advise you on the most suitable plants for a garden where children play. This way you can ensure that your garden is 100% safe.

Cotoneaster - The berries of this plant are dangerous.
Cotoneaster - The berries of this plant are dangerous.
Woody Nightshade - The Berries of this plant are dangerous.
Woody Nightshade - The Berries of this plant are dangerous.
Mistletoe - The berries, leaves and stem are poisonous.
Mistletoe - The berries, leaves and stem are poisonous.
Yew Tree - All Parts of this tree are poisonous.
Yew Tree - All Parts of this tree are poisonous.

Poisonous Plants To Avoid

  • Honeysuckle - Berries can cause vomiting
  • Laburnum - Seeds and Pods can cause vomiting, headache, drowsiness, a rapid pulse, fits, breathing problems
  • Cotoneaster - Berries can cause vomiting
  • Yew Tree - All parts of this Tree are Poisonous and can cause Vomiting, Diarrhoea, diziness, breathing problems, fits, and a coma
  • Deadly Nightshade - The Berries can cause a dry mouth, blurred vision, hallucination, fever and confusion
  • Pyracantha - Berries can cause Vomiting and Diarrhoea
  • Holly - Berries and Leaves van cause vomiting diarrhea and drowsiness
  • Mistletoe - The berries. Leaves and stem can cause Stomach ache and diarrhoea
  • Fushsia - This can cause Vomiting and diarrhoea
  • Woody Nightshade - The Berrries can cause Vomiting, diarrhoea, sore throat, headache, dizziness and fever.

Discuss Dangers with Children

Although I have removed all dangerous plants from my garden, this does not mean that my children are totally protected from danger. We regularly go for walks in the woods where it is easy to spot the plant Deadly Nightshade and Woody Nightshade. When we visit friends they often have a hedge with the plant Cottoneaster or Yewtree. These plants are very attractive to young children because of their bright colours. Therefore as soon as children are old enough to understand it is important to show them these plants helping them to recogise the flower and the berry and to warn them of the dangers. A "Look but dont touch" approach is best. I also encourage my children not to pick any fruit unless they are accompanied by an adult.

Don't Eat Any Plants If You Are Not Sure

First Aid If You Suspect Poisoning From A Plant

If a young child comes in contact with a Poisonous plant or ingests berries leaves or other parts of the plant it is important to act quickly.

If you suspect that a child has been poisoned by a plant:

  • Try to find out the type of plant that the child has ingested (ask for colour, name, berries, leaves etc). This information will assist the emergency services if necessary.
  • Try to remain calm
  • Sit the child down and keep the child calm
  • Do not make the child sick
  • Give the child a small drink of milk or water
  • Contact your nearest Emergency Department or Doctor immediately and if possible give them a description or the name of the plant the child has ingested.


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    • mathair profile image

      mathair 5 years ago from Ireland

      Thank you DIYmyOmy. I never realised that so many plants had poisonous parts until I began to plant a garden for my own children. Another thing that need to be avoided are mushrooms. There are so many different types and many of them can have fatal results making it safer to warn children to avoid them altogether.

    • DIYmyOmy profile image

      DIYmyOmy 5 years ago from Philadelphia, PA

      Another plant to avoid is Helleborus--all parts are poisonous. Thanks so much for this very useful article!