Nature is all around us. Getting our children out into nature can reduce anxiety and boost their mood. Whether playing in the backyard or out on a trail in the forest, being able to identify dangerous plants can reduce the occurrence of irritations like poison ivy, as well as prevent poisoning from ingesting toxic plants.

Following these guidelines will allow your child to become familiar with safe versus toxic plants, as well as prevent them from harm by contact or ingestion of toxic plants.

Plants Guidelines

  • 1 Know your toxic plants — plants are a leading cause of poisoning in young children. Research and familiarize yourself with poisonous plants.
  • 2 Teach children different plants so that they can identify what is safe and what isn’t.
  • 3 Instruct children to never pick up and eat anything without consulting an adult first.
  • 4 When hiking in the forest with children, stick to the trail as much as possible. Typically, trails will have lower risk of toxic plants.
  • 5 Explain to children that they should never eat any plant without first getting approval from a knowledgeable caregiver. This is especially important if you have a home garden and the child is used to picking and eating straight from the ground.
  • 6 If you have poisonous plants in or around your home, either remove them or create a barrier between the plant and the child.
  • 7 Contact the Poison Control Help Line if you have any questions about different plants (1-800-222-1222) and request a list of poisonous plants.

Plants Checklist

  • Everyone in the family knows what toxic plants look like and why they are dangerous.
  • First aid kit contains items for dealing with toxic plants.
  • Toxic plants in and around the home have been removed or barricaded.
  • A list of toxic plants has been obtained from a reputable source.