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Even Plants Can Be Poisonous

Plants are important to our health and well-being, and they can help children understand and respect the natural world. However, some plants and seeds can be harmful when eaten or touched. According to Caring for Our Children Standard 5.2.9.10: Prohibition of Poisonous Plants, poisonous or potentially harmful plants are not allowed in any part of a child care facility. If Head Start management or staff are unsure whether a plant is toxic, they can work with the Poison Control Center (1-800-222-1222) to identify it and determine whether it is safe. Review the list of common household plants to learn which are poisonous. Staff also can share the list with families so they can protect their children and pets from toxic plants at home.

See PDF version: Even Plants Can Be Poisonous

Learn the names of your plants and label them. Below is a list of some of the more common indoor and outdoor plants that you may have in your home. This list is not a complete list. If you have a plant around your home that is not on the list, you may call the Poison Center at 1-800-222-1222 to find out how poisonous it may be. You must know either the common name or the botanical name in order for the Poison Center to determine if it is poisonous. It is not possible to do plant or berry identifications over the phone, so check with a nursery for identification of all unknown plants. Carefully supervise children playing near poisonous plants. Call 1-800-222-1222 immediately if a child samples a mushroom or possibly poisonous plant.

Non-Poisonous Plants

Common Name

Botanical Name

African violet

Saintpaulia ionantha

Begonia

Begonia

Christmas cactus

Schlumbergera bridgesii

Coleus

Coleus

Dandelion

Taraxacum officinale

Dracaena

Dracaena

Forsythia

Forsythia

Impatiens

Impatiens

Jade

Crassula argentea

Marigold Calendula

Tagetes

Petunia

Petunia

Poinsettia

Euphorbia pulcherrima (may cause irritation only)

Rose

Rosa

Spider plant

Chlorophytum comosum

Swedish ivy

Plectranthus australia

Wandering Jew

Tradescantia fluminesis

Wild strawberry

Fragaria virginiensis

 

Poisonous Plants

Common Name

Botanical Name

Azalea, rhododendron

Rhododendron

Caladium

Caladium

Castor bean

Ricinis communis

Daffodil

Narcissus

Deadly nightshade

Atropa belladonna

Dumbcane

Dieffenbachia

Elephant Ear

Colocasia esculenta

Foxglove

Digitalis purpurea

Fruit pits and seeds

contain cyanogenic glycosides

Holly

Ilex

Iris

Iris

Jerusalem cherry

Solanum pseudocapsicum

Jimson weed

Datura stramonium

Lantana

Lantana camara

Lily-of-the-valley

Convalleria majalis

Mayapple

Podophyllum peltatum

Mistletoe

Viscum album

Morning glory

Ipomoea

Mountain laurel

Kalmia iatifolia

Nightshade

Salanum spp.

Oleander

Nerium oleander

Peace lily

Spathiphyllum

Philodendron

Philodendron

Pokeweed

Phytolacca americana

Pothos

Epipremnum aureum

Yew

Taxus

Source: National Capital Poison Center (www.poison.org). Photos of selected plants in this appendix are available at http://www.poison.org/prevent/plants.asp.

Topic:Safety Practices

Keywords:Child care centersChild safety

Resource Type: Article

National Centers: Early Childhood Health and Wellness

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