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To embellish the interior of the house, it is better to reflect on the nature of the plants to be introduced. It is necessary to wonder, at the purchase, about the possible toxic character of a good number of "indoor" plants. This precaution targets in the first place children, very young, perfectly oblivious to the danger of certain plants within their reach. It goes without saying that it is necessary very early to monitor and warn them both against touching or nibbling on the leaves and especially the colored fruits, without forgetting to protect them against the toxicity of the water in the vases with flowers. Fortunately, serious poisoning is rare.
I am wary of certain plants
- Be careful first of all of the Araceae family! The dreaded Dieffenbachia, if swallowed, can cause intense oral pain and various symptoms up to severe breathing difficulties. The other genera like Anthurium, Caladium, Monstera, Philodendron and Spathiphyllum can be the cause of more or less strong irritant reactions.
- In the Moraceae family, Ficus benjamina and elastica can cause nausea, vomiting and abdominal pain. Fortunately, the tough leaves discourage the child from chewing a lot. - In Euphorbia, such as Poinsettia, Croton, Thorn of Christ and Candelabra spurge, contact of latex (milky juice) with the skin or mucous membranes (mouth and eye), sometimes results in very irritations serious. - The red berries of the Love Apple tree (Solanaceae) are very inconvenient for the digestive tract. - Azaleas and Rhododendrons (Ericaceae) can induce mouth burns, vomiting and digestive disorders. Already in the fifth century BC, the Greeks incriminated rhododendron honey, responsible for poisoning among soldiers. - The berries of Holly and Mistletoe (end of year celebrations) could be responsible, by ingestion, for serious disorders in children.
- Liliaceae bulbs (hyacinths, tulips, narcissus ...), toxic like many, should not be confused with edible onions. - Other particularly dangerous plants, the oleander, even the boxwood, often present on balconies, are very toxic. - Finally, the seeds of Castor and Red Pea Jéquirity, used in artisan necklaces, represent a real danger in case of absorption or suction. This list designates a certain number of dangerous plants but is obviously not exhaustive.
I react quickly when in doubt
- The telephone of the poison control center must be displayed, prominently displayed, and if in doubt, call the nearest center, the doctor or the SAMU (15), to obtain the first advice on the procedure to be followed, without waiting for the onset of symptoms (vomiting, diarrhea, irritations, skin signs). - First reflex gestures: remove the remains of the plant from the mouth or hands and keep them for determination, if the plant is not known. If possible, rinse your mouth, but above all do not give water or milk to drink! Rapid medical intervention will make the stomach wash or cause vomiting. - If there has been only contact with the skin or the eye, wash for a sufficient time with tap water, without applying any product for dermatological use. Avoid exposure to the sun (risk of photosensitization).