Poisonous Plants

Davis is up and around – completely mobile – and into EVERYTHING! I thought I had childproofed my house. I inserted outlet protectors, moved the potato and onion basket, bolted the shelf to the wall, and moved the plants to a table behind the couch. Low and behold, Davis found a way to compromise my protective reinforcements.

It was Wednesday night and Tracy was at a church meeting. Davis and I were left at home alone. I was sitting on the couch, absorbed in something on the computer. Davis was standing on the couch beside me, diligently trying to get the plants. I knew I had moved the plants well out of his reach, so I wasn’t worried. Davis still wiggled and squirmed and grabbed and reached. At one point, though, the squirming stopped and Davis settled, quite still beside me. My first thought – oh no! – he has something he shouldn’t have. I looked over to find that he was licking his lips and smacking. I pried open his mouth to find a half of a philededron leaf soaked with slob, resting on his tongue. I frantically reached in and pulled the leaf out, then looked at the plant to see if more of the leaf was missing. I found two parts which I tried to piece back to their place of origin. They pretty much fit so I assumed none of the plant had been swallowed.

Someone had told me awhile ago that philedendrons were poisonous if ingested. Frantic again, I began doing research on the toxicity of philedendrons while Davis crawled around completely unaware that his mother was about to go into hysterics. Everything I read confirmed that if the plant was chewed or eaten, it could be toxic, causing everything from swelling of the mouth, to blocked airways, even death.

My stomach started to churn. I called Tracy, no answer. I called my friend Marian who is a nurse, no answer. Finally, desparate for some reassurance that my son was going to survive, I dialed the number for poison control. The poison control assistant answered the telephone. I relayed my story and he asked if Davis had chewing teeth. I explained that he had front teeth. The gentleman said, “Well, he doesn’t have chewing teeth.” Apparently, if philedendron is chewed, it’s almost like chewing little needles that pierce the tongue, causing an allergic reaction. He then told me that if I had not seen a reaction yet, we had nothing to worry about. Davis would be fine. Relief flooded me. However, before getting off the phone with poison control, the assistant asked for all my information…my name, address, telephone number…This is about the third time I have called poison control. Everytime they ask for my information. I wonder if after a designated number of calls, do they begin some sort of investigation???

Needless to say, my plants have been removed from the house all together. Tracy’s aunt Carol is watching them until Davis learns that not everything that can be eaten should be eaten.