5 common houseplants that are toxic for your kids and pets
Make sure to know beforehand if the plant you're planning to put in your home is toxic or not. That way, you can be sure that your family and pets are safe.
Plants are good to have around the house. They make us feel comfortable at home, they provide us with fresh air, and some types of plants can even repel harmful insects. However, there are some plants that can be toxic to humans.
Philodendrons are one of the more popular house plants that people have in their home. However, they have calcium oxalate crystals, which can be very toxic to animals as well as humans.
For humans, the usual symptoms of ingesting philodendron would be swelling of the mouth and digestive tract. In rarer cases however, it can be fatal if consumed in large amounts by children.
For pets, the side effects are much more severe as they can cause spasms, seizures, pain, and swelling in dogs. Additionally, it’s more toxic for cats.
The Pothos Ivy, also known as the Devil’s Ivy, has been touted as one of the best plants to have at home since it’s one of the best plants when it comes to purifying the air we breathe. It’s also easy to plant, and it’s not uncommon for people to give out Pothos plants as gifts.
In spite of these benefits, it can cause some slight side effects in humans when consumed. These include a burning sensation in the mouth, skin irritation, swelling, vomiting, and diarrhea.
For our pets, it’s much more toxic as it can lead to excessive drooling, choking, swelling of mouth and tongue, difficulty breathing, and an upset stomach. These symptoms can even lead to renal failure and death in our pets, so make sure to keep them away from this plant!
Lily (and other plants called lillies)
Lillies are very beautiful plants. However, some varieties of Lillies can be very dangerous when ingested. These include the following:
- Calla Lily (Calla Lillies can be fatal for children)
- Easter Lily
- Rubrum Lily
- Tiger Lily
- Day Lily
- Asian Lily
Symptoms of ingestion can include an upset stomach, vomiting, headache, blurred vision, and skin irritation. For cats however, Lillies are especially dangerous; symptoms include vomiting, lethargy, lack of appetite, as well as renal and liver failure. This is why if you have cats at home, it’s best to avoid having Lillies just to make sure your cats are safe.
Dieffenbachia, also known as dumb cane, is closely related to the philodendron and also contains oxalate crystals. It has the exact same symptoms as ingesting philodendron, but Dieffenbachia grows much closer to the ground, so ingestion can be more common.’
Oleander plants might look very delicate and beautiful, but be warned; it’s extremely toxic.
There have been some reported deaths wherein just one leaf has been eaten, but the more common case is when large amounts of the leaves are ingested. Oleander plants are especially dangerous to kids, so it’s best to keep them away from these plants.
The symptoms in humans include arrhythmia, dizziness, and tremors. For pets, the symptoms include arrhythmia, vomiting, and cold extremities.
Keep your home safe
Regardless of the dangers that these plants pose, you can still have them in your home, provided that you take some safety measures to keep them away from your family or pets.
- If you have any toxic plants, keep them out of reach of your pets and your kids.
- Label your plants to identify which ones are toxic and not toxic.
- When handling toxic plants wash your hands immediately, and avoid touching your eyes or mouth.
- Teach your kids to be safe around plants and not touch them if they’re not sure if it’s safe or not.
- Keeping plants away from cats can be very tricky. You can try using a hanging bird cage to keep your toxic plants away from your cats. Plus they look good as an ornament.