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Poison Center tips on Plant Safety

An IU Health Blackford Hospital Release

As spring and summer months arrive and plants are in full bloom. Do you know which plants in your home, garden and yard that can be poisonous? Plants are among the top ten agents that cause poisoning in young children under the age of six. Ten percent of all poison exposures happen in the spring and summer months.

The Indiana Poison Center suggests the following:

• Identify every plant in your home and yard. If you are unsure of what a certain plant is, take a sample to a nursery for identification. An adequate sample consists of a large piece of the plant, including leaves, stems, berries and flowers.
• Label all of your plants with the proper name.
• Make a sketch of your yard and garden, including location and name of trees, bushes, and plants. Post this “map” in a central location in your home.
• Remove all mushrooms in the yard, especially after rainy spells in spring and fall. There have been deaths reported from adults who have intentionally eaten wild mushrooms. It is important to call the Poison Center if any portion of a wild mushroom is eaten.

“If your child has ingested any type of foreign plant matter it is important to seek help immediately,” said Joni Bertsch, education manager, Indiana University Health Blackford Hospital. “Even common flowers such as Tulips can cause side effects if eaten. The best way to avoid danger is to monitor children closely while outside.”

Contact the Indiana Poison Center if you suspect a poisoning. Do not wait for problems to develop, instead, call the Indiana Poison Center immediately at 1.800.222.1222. You can also visit the Center’s website at iuhealth.org/Methodist/poisoning.
 

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