Poisonous plants are all around us. Some plants can be harmful if you touch them, eat them, or burn them. Sometimes, the whole plant is harmful. Other times, just part of a plant is harmful.

Young children often put harmful plants in their mouths. Adults sometimes pick harmful plants to eat, thinking they are safe. Most plants are not harmful if you only have a little bit, but some can be very dangerous after just one bite. In serious cases, a harmful plant can kill you. Don’t forget about your four-legged friends. Many plants can be poisonous to your pets.

If you eat or touch a harmful plant you may:

  • Get a rash
  • Feel sick to your stomach
  • Feel dizzy
  • Feel like your heart is beating too quickly or too slowly
  • Have trouble breathing

What can you do about poisonous plants?

If someone has eaten a plant that might be harmful:

  • Take all pieces of the plant out of their mouth.
  • Give a few sips of water or milk.
  • Call the poison center at 1-800-222-1222

If someone has touched a plant that might be harmful:

  • Wash their skin with soap and water.
  • Call the poison center at 1-800-222-1222.

When someone has burned a plant that might be harmful:

  • Get to fresh air.
  • Call the poison center at 1-800-222-1222.

To prevent plant poisonings:

  • Identify your plants. You can take a piece to a local greenhouse, garden center, nursery or agricultural extension office.
  • Get rid of harmful plants or keep them out of the reach of children and pets.
  • Teach children to ask before touching or eating plants, berries or mushrooms.
  • Do not eat plants, berries or mushrooms that you find outside unless you are sure you know what they are. Examples include blueberries, strawberries, and vegetables from the garden.

To find more information on a specific plant, visit the Northern New England Poison Center at www.nnepc.org, call us at 1-800-222-1222 or text POISON to 85511. Check out and follow our new Pinterest page at https://www.pinterest.com/NNEPoisonCenter/pins/

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