Poisonous plants: risk of poisoning for children (What to do if poisoned?)

Very important: do not panic; Keep Calm! Heavy or even fatal poisoning with plants are very rare. Do not scold, do not upset yourself and your child.

What to do now:

  • Give tea, still water or juice to drink, no milk!
  • Do not induce vomiting, do not give salt water!

If you "catch" your child "in the act", let it spit out any leftovers and show what it has eaten. Important are the following points:

  • Which plant has your child swallowed?
  • Which parts of the plant were eaten?
  • Was only chewed and spat out or swallowed?
  • How much was swallowed?

If a poisonous plant has been consumed, you are not sure if the plant is poisonous or your child can not tell you how much it has consumed, call a Poison Control Center - you will be given free information 24 hours a day, such as the poison works and what countermeasures you can take. If you do not know a plant, describe it to the adviser as closely as possible (appearance, location, shape, size, arrangement of leaves, color, flowers, fruits).

If your child has inexplicable symptoms, call a poison control center and follow their instructions (eg request ambulance, drive yourself to the nearest pediatric clinic).

Telephone numbers of the competent poison emergency call

  • (030) 19 240 - Berlin and Brandenburg
  • (0228) 19 240 - North Rhine-Westphalia (NRW)
  • (0361) 730 730 - Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania, Saxony, Saxony-Anhalt and Thuringia
  • (0761) 19 240 - Baden-Württemberg
  • (0551) 19 240 - Lower Saxony, Bremen, Hamburg and Schleswig-Holstein
  • (06841) 19 240 - Saarland
  • (06131) 19 240 - Rhineland-Palatinate and Hesse
  • (089) 19 240 - Bavaria
  • (+43) 01-4064343 - Austria
  • (+41) 044 251 51 51 - Switzerland

Do not forget to keep a branch / stem with the parts of the plants (leaves, fruits, flowers) and to take it with you to the phone and, if necessary, to the clinic - this facilitates the determination of the plants.

Indications of poisoning

Possible complaints of poisoning are (selection) :

  • Sudden inexplicable tiredness, dizziness, movement disorders, numbness, blurred vision, convulsions, restlessness, confusion, hallucinations
  • Malaise, nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain, diarrhea
  • Dry mouth, or increased salivation, mucosal swelling
  • Skin change (itching, redness, pain)
  • respiratory disorders

Even if you find your child unconscious (and you have the suspicion due to discoloration around the mouth and on your hands), look it in your mouth and remove any remaining substance. Carry out life-saving immediate measures and request an ambulance.

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