Tip on Protecting Young Children from Poisonous Garden Plants

There are a number of garden plants that are poisonous and ingesting them can cause symptoms ranging from gastric upset to cardiac distress. Additionally, some poisonous plants will burn your skin on contact. So how do you keep young children safe from poisonous plants in your garden? Here's an overview of common poisonous plants and precautions you can take to protect your kids.

Know Some Common Poisonous Garden Plants

Here are seven garden plants that are poisonous to humans:

  • Foxglove—All parts of the foxglove plant are poisonous and ingestion can cause nausea, vomiting and convulsions.
  • Lily Of The Valley—All parts of this plant are poisonous and can cause dizziness, diarrhoea, irritation to the lining of the mouth, and heart failure.
  • Sweet Pea—Ingestion of any part of the sweet pea plant can cause respiratory distress.
  • Hydrangea—All parts of the hydrangea plant are poisonous and can cause skin irritation and gastroenteritis.
  • Cape Tulip - Both the one-leaf and two-leaf varieties of cape tulip can cause vomiting and diarrhoea.
  • Daffodil—Consumption of any part of the daffodil can cause vomiting, skin irritation and diarrhoea.
  • Rhubarb—The leaves of this plant can irritate the skin and cause gastric upset.

Take Precautions

You can protect your children from poisonous plants in your garden by fencing them off. Use fencing that can't be climbed and doesn't have spaces between the fence boards that little hands can squeeze through. Fencing is a good option if you have a mature garden that you don't want to sacrifice as most children will have learned not to eat garden plants by the time they start school.

If you do decide to keep poisonous plants in your garden you should label each plant, which will allow you to quickly identify the plant if your child does manage to ingest some of it. Knowing the source of the poison can help emergency services treat your child quickly and effectively.

You can also opt to remove any poisonous plants from your garden and replace them with non-toxic varieties such as roses, crocuses, begonias, and marigolds.

Identifying Unknown Plants

If you have plants in your garden you can't identify, you can contact the Department of Agriculture and Food for a copy of their guide to harmful plants. Alternatively, you can take a sample of the plant to your local nursery and they will identify it for you. You should confirm the identity of any plants you're not absolutely certain of.

Your local plant nursery can give you detailed advice on planting a safe garden, so you don't have to give up on the idea of having a beautiful garden when you have young children.