In the warm season children often play outside. Your imagination is spurred on by things that you find there. In the game "Cooking food", for example, berries, leaves or other plant parts are often used. However, such a meal is sometimes difficult to digest. Smaller children are often tempted by the pretty colors and shapes to put plant parts in their mouths.
Annual poisoning cases
Every year, nearly 100, 000 people call the Poison Control Center for suspected that the child may have been poisoned in their care - in almost 20, 000 cases this suspicion is confirmed. In 9 out of 10 cases, children under the age of 6 are affected - especially the 1 to 3 year olds, who also like to explore their environment through their mouths.
Overall, the household chemicals - detergents, dishwashing detergents & Co. - come first in the causes of poisoning, followed by drugs. However, especially among the 1- to 4-year-olds, plants also play a major role, especially those with attractive berries.
The good news: The vast majority of poisoning cases go well - in three quarters of cases, there are no complaints, because the amount of toxic substance was very low, the other poisonings are mostly mild. This is especially true with poisoning with plants. Nevertheless: In households with small children up to primary school age, poisonous plants in the home and garden should be avoided.
Which plants are poisonous?
Many poisonous plants do not taste very good, so the kids quickly spit out the leaves, stems and fruits. However, this characteristic is often weakened in modern breeding forms - so taste the berries of today's privet hedges often far less bitter than their original form. W
which parts of plants have a harmful effect, varies from species to species. Each plant has different ingredients, levels of danger and effects.
The symptoms range from skin irritation to stomach upset with nausea or mild vomiting until - fortunately rarely - towards circulatory collapse and respiratory paralysis. As a rough rule of thumb, children of any native plant, even if they are poisonous, can eat one berry without harm. (A selection without claim to completeness)
- Poisonous plants in the garden and in the wild: First of all, the common coneflower (Aconitum), followed by the yew (seeds and needles), belladonna (and other nightshades), henbane, hemlock, fall-time lilies (colchicum, is often confused with the crocus), Datura, daphne, angel trumpet and miracle tree. Slightly less toxic but potentially dangerous in large quantities are wolfberry plants, laburnum, digitalis, raw beans, rhododendrons, oleanders, arum, lily-of-the-valley (leaves are often mistaken for wild garlic), lamprey, ivy, and thuja. From privet, crackpot and rowan (mountain ash) up to 5 berries are safely harmless.
- Houseplants: Cyclamen, coral shrub, rubber tree, birch fig (Ficus benjamini), monkey tree, Dieffenbachie are potentially poisonous. The white milky sap of the poinsettia belonging to the spurge family is poisonous only in the wild forms; in the cultured species this causes only slight irritation of the gastrointestinal tract.
Prevent poisoning with plants
- Before purchasing, find out about the harmlessness of a plant.
- Check if listed plants grow on the way to school and in the environment of your children. Advise and determine the plants can z. As gardeners, foresters and florists, possibly also pharmacist.
- Carefully discuss poisoning risks with your children and teach them not to try plant parts they do not know.