Are Houseplants Safe for Children?
Are Houseplants Safe for Children?
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Plants have become staple pieces in every home. Though there were already lots of plant enthusiasts before, Axiom Marketing discovered that 86% of homeowners plan to continue gardening in their homes. About 40% stated that they would plant the same crops in their home, but about 47% of plant parents plan to expand their green spaces next season.
It’s definitely refreshing to have more plants at home. However, homeowners need to consider the safety of their family members and pets before expanding their plant collection. So if you want to keep your children safe, here’s what you need to know about houseplants:
Understanding the Toxicity of Houseplants
Believe it or not, all plants have natural poisons. Our article titled ‘How Toxic Are Plants’ explains that plants naturally have toxins to protect themselves from getting eaten. For example, lemons may be safe for human consumption, but they give off a compound called Limonene, which can be fatal for moths.
Unfortunately, plenty of common houseplants can be dangerous for curious kids. Green Child Magazine lists Philodendron and Oleander as some of the most common plants that can be toxic to kids. Though dumb canes are easy to care for, they can cause mouth irritation and speech impediments if their leaves are consumed. Poinsettia is another plant to avoid because it can cause skin irritation, nausea, and vomiting.
How to Keep Your Kid Safe in Your Green Space
Make adjustments to your plant collection
The easiest way to keep your kids safe is to only purchase plants that are non-toxic. Some of these plants are quite common, such as Boston ferns, spider plants, parlor palms, and peperomias.
But if you want more diverse species of plants in your home, try to put your plants in hard-to-reach places, like on a shelf. Through this approach, you can maintain your plant collection without putting your little one in harm.
Educate your kid about gardening practices
Gardening is a beneficial hobby for kids, so you shouldn’t turn your little ones away from plants. In fact, in a podcast on Scribd, gardener Annabelle Padwick encourages gardening for kids’ wellbeing. This is especially vital now that one in eight young people suffer from mental health conditions. To help kids develop their green thumbs, a mental health advisor shares that digging, weeding, sowing seeds, and other gardening tasks should be made more interesting and relatable.
You can also use that approach to teach kids which plants are toxic and which ones they can touch. Your kids will better understand the do’s and don’ts in your green space through the stories that you make up about your plants.
Read up on the toxic plants in your area
If your kid is a little bit older, you can also expand their gardening knowledge and keep them safe at home by encouraging them to read books about plants. Your kid will become more aware of the dangers of certain houseplants because many books contain easy-to-understand explanations about their toxicity.
Those from Virginia can read up on The Socrates Project - Poisonous Plants in Virginia, an easy-to-read resource with full-color photographs. Experts developed this book to lower the poisoning incidents among kids in Virginia, so locals can read through the book with their children. Likewise, you can purchase books about toxic plants to identify any species in your home or neighborhood.
If you have a curious kid, it's best to keep them safe from potentially toxic houseplants. With a little bit of adjustment and education, you can turn your green space into a safe environment for your entire family. If you are looking for some more Plant Tips, do check out our blog.
Article written by Rosie Jentson