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Poisonous Plants in Your Garden

Poisonous, plants, garden,toxic,

“I didn’t know what to do!” Explained Mrs Bradley. “She was coughing and holding her throat. I thought she was choking so I tried to make her bring up what she had swallowed.” Staff at the casualty unit of the hospital treats a four year-old child who chewed on a seedpod from a wisteria. This plant poisons many children.

”Parents often try to make the child vomit and this is very dangerous,” warns Sister Graham RN, RCHN. “If a child aspirates the poison, it could prove fatal. The largest numbers of poisonings we deal with here occur in children under five years of age.
Children are naturally curious but must be taught never to put any part of a plant in their mouths and never to eat berries, wild fruit, seeds or mushrooms. Flower arrangements for the dinner table or buffets should never include fruits, berries or seeds that might be toxic.”

Some varieties of cut flowers have toxic properties. Species of Orntihogalum are among the most poisonous plants and if allowed to contaminate fodder, leads to stock loss. Several of these are cultivated as garden plants and cut flowers. The most common are Ornithogalum thyrsoides and Ornithogalum conicum, commonly known as ‘chincherinchees’.
Often one part of a plant may be edible while the rest of it is poisonous (e.g. rhubarb). Many plants used for medicinal purposes are toxic only if ingested in large quantities.
Some plants, although not poisonous, cause allergic reactions in people suffering from hay fever or asthma, especially pollen bearing trees like Acacia or Plane trees.
Plants that are innocuous to some people, like strawberries, ivy or chrysanthemums can cause skin irritation in people who are
allergic.
If you suffer from allergies wear protective gloves when handling plants. Stems should always be cut rather than broken to prevent harmful sap from coming into contact with the skin. Fortunately, many poisonous plants have survival characteristics including thorns, hard outer shells or are bitter to the taste. Plants that cause irritations or illness in humans should never be fed to animals.

In case of suspected poisoning of a human or animal:

Act immediately – do not wait to see if the symptoms go away. Some toxins can stay in the body and only manifest themselves a day or two later.
• It is preferable to go straight to a hospital Casualty rather than to a doctor.
• Identify and collect samples of suspected poisonous plants in your garden to take to the casualty
• Do NOT induce vomiting or give milk – some poisons are contra-indicated for milk.
• Carers should be taught about poisonous plants in the garden.

Write down contact numbers for the Emergency Poison Unit closest to you.
Published: 2008-11-21
Author: Sylvia Nilsen - http://sites.google.com/site/sylvianilsen/

About the author or the publisher
I am a freelance writer who has been published in a number of consumer magazines - Children, pregnancy, Food and Enterntainment, Women, Travel etc.
www.amawalker.blogspot.com

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