Just when I had a busy day with work that I couldn’t even get a post up for my dear blog friends, a scary event just took place in our home!
Now, that things have calmed down and my phone call with Poison Control just ended, I thought I would share this shocking turn of events. Well, it all started with a pretty little three year old relaxing on the sofa watching her favourite morning cartoon. Mommy was a little busy just the next room over, things seemed pretty normal for our morning ritual – quiet and peaceful as it usually is in our house.
The living room looked especially pretty and luscious with some pretty house plants that got moved around for a mini photo shoot session (for work) and the ‘studio’ setting was so pretty that the mom decided to keep it like that for a bit longer. And while mom was busy at the computer, the little girl got a little bored with her surrounding and let her curiosity go on a little adventure. She wondered what to do, and decided that it would be fun to take a bite off a house plant that was looking so pretty and luscious!
Whoever thought that POISON COULD LOOK SO PRETTY! She bit the stem, felt the burning on her lips and inside her mouth. Came running to mom who got so frantic/ worried/ dramatic – - WHAT HAPPENED? IT’ BURNS, IT BURNS! Cried the little girl, panicking, pointing to her mouth. The chaos went on for much longer. Eventually a little communication happened between them and a house plant was pointed out, with it’s markings of a little nibble.
Dumbcane or Leopard Lily is it’s informal name. The pretty poison looks very deceiving.
Definition - Dieffenbachia is a type of house plant with large, colorful leaves. Poisoning can occur if you eat the leaves of this plant.
Poisonous Ingredient - Oxalic acid, Asparagine – a protein found in this plant
Symptoms and Signs - Burning in mouth or throat, Damage to cornea of the eye, Diarrhea, Eye pain, Hoarse voice, Nausea or vomiting, Swelling in mouth or tongue
Luckily, my daughter just licked the stem, and get a bit of her teeth underneath the skin of the stem. Luckily, she only had a little bit of swelling and burning of her lips and mouth. Luckily, no other serious symptoms occurred. Luckily, she seemed completely fine after half hour of when this affair officially started.
What to do if Ingested – wipe lips and mouth completely and give water or milk to drink. Watch for other symptoms and call Poison Control (AAPCC) and/or 911 if symptoms get worse.
What’s the moral of the story? Don’t have poison growing in your home! Don’t have this houseplant around if you have kids or pets at home. It may be pretty but just keep it high away from reach or just don’t have it inside the home at all. Thankfully nothing serious happened but it just scared me to death that something could go wrong with my little angel. I wish I knew before hand that that I had pretty poison in my home. Live and learn!
For a list of other poisonous house plants visit The Baby Safety Site.
Back to Blog