Preventing Poisoning Exposures
- Before buying a plant, have the store label it with both the common and scientific name.
- Show grandparents and baby sitters where the plant label is. It is very hard for poison specialists to identify plants from a description given on the phone. Know the names of your plants before a poisoning happens.
- If you have small children or curious pets, consider removing toxic plants from your garden and house. House plants should be placed out of reach of the very young.
- Teach children not to put any part of a plant in the mouth. This means leaves, stems, bark, seeds, nuts, berries, and bulbs. Do not allow children to suck nectar from flowers or make "tea" from the leaves. Never chew, or let children chew, on jewelry made from seeds or beans.
Handling Toxic Plants
Store labeled bulbs and seeds safely away from children, pets, and food-storage areas. Avoid confusing bulbs with edible onions.
Use protective gloves and clothing when handling plants that may be irritating to the skin. Wash clothes afterwards.
Discard plant leaves and flowers in a safe way so that children and pets cannot get to them.
Smoke from fires made of twigs and other parts of poisonous plants, including poison oak, can irritate or harm the eyes, throat, and other parts of the body.
- Do not eat plants or mushrooms collected outdoors unless you are certain they are safe.