With young children crawling around finding ways to put everything in their mouths, it’s part of a parents normal routine to safety proof their homes but there is a major offender you may be missing: household plants! Some plants are wonderful to have in your home; providing air, boosting immunity and even increase memory. But others are so poisonous for both children and pets alike, you should avoid owning them entirely!
Below we have a list of the most popular household plants you should steer clear of at all costs. While some are mildly toxic, others can be deadly. Familiarizing yourself will help keep your little ones safe both at home as well as when visiting people or places with plants in sight. Always remember, when in doubt keep them out of reach or outside away from play areas.
Oleander - This one is dangerous! There have even been reports of deaths in adults with as little as one leaf. This plant should be avoided when you have small children. Also, keep in mind that it is more common in warmer climates as an outdoor plant, but some people do keep this plant inside. Your can see what these dangerous plants look like here.
Caladium - All parts of this common indoor and outdoor plant are toxic to children and pets. Be aware as there brightly colored leaves could attract children to them. Here are some pictures of these common indoor plants.
Peace Lily - With Easter right around the corner keep this one in mind! Poisonous to humans and especially dangerous to cats if left untreated. Here are some examples of this indoor plant that is popular at Easter.
Lilies - Not all types of lilies are toxic, but it is better to be on the safe side if you don't know what type you have. They are very common in bouquets and drop petals easily. See what the toxic type of lilies look like here.
Philodendron - This is probably the most common type of houseplant, and it is poisonous to both children and pets. Eating any part of this plant can cause pain and swelling in the mouth and throat along with vomiting and diarrhea. It comes in many varieties. Pictures of this most common indoor plant can be found here.
Pothos - Another very common houseplant. This is in the Philodendron family and has the same symptoms. Porthos pictures can referenced here.
Dieffenbachia - Also called "dumb cane" because of the swelling of the mouth and throat that can occur if enough of this plant is ingested. This plant is often kept on the ground making it more accessible to little ones.
Arrowhead - Often given as a gift or used in mixed planters, it frequently drops leaves so keep an eye on anything that has fallen onto the ground underneath them.
Hydrangea - Very common in many gardens and popular as a cut flower in bouquets. These should be kept out of reach from children. The wide range of colors can make this plant more attractive to small children.
Sago Palm - All parts of this plant are poisonous. It can cause stomach problems and in more serious cases can lead to liver failure. This plant is common outside in warmer climates as well.
Azaleas / Rhododendrons - All parts of these closely related plants are toxic to children and pets. While they are mostly used as outdoor decoration there are smaller varieties sold as houseplants. Here are some examples of toxic Azaleas / Rhododendrons.
English Ivy - Keep an eye out for this toxic plant as it tends to hang lower to the ground and therefore within reach of little ones. It also tends to drop a lot of leaves. This one also comes in many varieties.
Mother-In-Law's-Tongue - The name may make you laugh but this plant will leave you sick to your stomach if not avoided avoided. This plant is very common and often at ground level.
ZZ Plant - All parts of this plant are poisonous and you should make sure to wear gloves or wash your hands after handling. Here are some examples of toxic ZZ plants.
Poinsettia - This seasonal plant is actually not as harmful as people tend to think, but should still be avoided. Ingesting the plant can cause stomach problems and the sap is a skin irritant. See what this common indoor plant looks like here.
In general, keep in mind that a large amount of these plants would need to be ingested to cause serious harm, but they can irritate the skin and cause illness even in small doses. If you are concerned that your child or pet has ingested any of these call your doctor, vet, or the National Poison Control Center 1-800-222-1222.
Make sure you check out our blog on how to detox your home when you have toddlers if you found this list of popular household plants that are poisonous for children helpful.