Succulents can be kept both outside and inside. Depending on the species, they can either be poisonous for your child or completely safe. As a new mom to a sweet baby, my concern for succulent safety for babies grew.
Succulent plants can be poisonous to humans and animals in numerous ways. Some succulent species should not be ingested by humans, others have thorns on the skin that may cause infections, nausea, allergies, and vomiting. Whereas, many succulents pose no threat to babies and all humans alike.
If you have a huge and continuously growing succulent collection, you may lose track of the poisonous species sooner or later. So, there are a few tips you should keep in mind for your baby to remain safe from all potential threats caused by succulent plants.
For babies, the most crucial concern is poking spines and thorns and digesting parts of the succulents too. Cacti are the most prominent and common species of succulents that have thorns.
If you’re new to succulents (and a new parent too, like me!), you have come to the right place! We’ll go through a bit about distinguishing poisonous and non-poisonous succulents, the symptoms that toxic succulent plants have, and all the necessary measures you can take to ensure your baby is always safe!
Don’t worry, not all succulents are poisonous!
Poisonous plants are toxic not just because of ingestion but for other side effects too. These may include major skin reactions such as rashes, irritation, and severe itching.
While non-poisonous plants generally don’t pose a threat to humans, some people may have reactions toward them. These could be because of pre-developed allergies and health conditions.
I’ll list down some poisonous and non-poisonous succulents for your guidance. Although non-poisonous succulents may not have major consequences, it’s best practice to keep these plants out of reach of your baby too.
|Poisonous Succulents||Non-Poisonous Succulents|
|Cacti can cause skin irritation.||Not harmful for skin.|
|Various parts may cause choking.||They can cause choking too.|
|Many poisonous succulents can even lead to serious nausea and vomiting.||Some non-poisonous succulent plants may be harmful to animals.|
Not just the leaves but many parts of a succulent can be dangerous for your baby!
Many succulents even produce fruits that can be toxic to humans.
Here is an official list of poisonous plants by National Capital Poison Center! You can look up your succulent here or contact them for more information.
Many plants are safe for animals but not for humans!
If your succulent is safe for animals, doesn’t mean it’s safe for humans too. It’s always best to assure all necessary precautions are in order.
Toxicity is not the only issue you should be worried about for your baby!
Various parts of a non-toxic can be dangerous. They may not cause poisoning when eaten. However, there can be other reactions such as choking.
What if the fruits, seeds, or leaves of your succulents are non-toxic? That’s great but remember that a baby chews on almost anything they see! Not only can there be germs present on your plant, but a child is most likely to choke on it too. It’s always best to keep non-toxic succulents out of reach of babies too.
Never try to taste your succulent plant!
Don’t ever try to detect toxicity on your own. Remember that if a succulent can be poisonous for your baby, it can be equally harmful for you.
Eating is not the only way that succulents can be harmful to your baby!
Many succulents can be toxic in ways other than eating. Touching some succulent plants may lead to rashes, skin irritation, and consistent itching.
If your baby shows any of the above symptoms, it is best to immediately give the affected area a good rinse with mild warm water and plenty of disinfectant soap.
Don’t take all matters into your hands!
Apart from a few urgent steps that you can follow, always consult a professional!
Some babies can be more sensitive than others!
Various factors can affect the sensitivity of your baby toward a succulent plant. These may include age and the immune system of your baby.
Other factors that can control the poisonous impact of a succulent include the time that has elapsed since the plant was interacted with. The quantity, as well as the parts of the plant, can also have different effects. For example, some parts have a greater intensity of poison on their leaves compared to the stems. Depending on the succulent, if the quantity consumed was little, there might not be any harmful consequences at all.
However, if your baby does show clear symptoms, don’t hesitate to go to the doctor!
Use your phone!
When in doubt, use your phone to record evidence. Always call a poison center and show them the proofs to guide you toward recovering from the poisonous exposure of your baby. If you don’t know the name of the succulent, you can click photos and look them up or ask a professional at the center to guide you as well.
Be it indoors or outdoors, accustom your baby to succulent safety!
Succulent safety measures for a baby include maintaining distance from the plant and learning about the succulent species in general.
How can you teach your baby about succulents? It all starts with you! If you have a huge succulent collection, I would recommend you label them. It doesn’t have to be fancy. Just get a piece of paper, write the plant’s name, genus, and a few other things which may include:
A few tips that you should follow for your baby:
Condition your baby to know that plants should not be eaten or touched. This way, whenever your baby goes outdoors and your attention is split for a second, you’ll be assured they’re not taking any plant to their mouth! Try giving verbal or gentle physical cues to your baby whenever they try to put a plant’s parts in their mouth! This could be for all plants!
Remember never to allow your baby to eat a succulent just because you saw an animal or bird eating it!
Keep your baby away from succulent-made items. Many products may consist of seeds or other plant parts that can be dangerous even after several manufacturing processes.
Do not follow any succulent recipe you see online. For instance, if you saw someone making cactus juice, check the credibility of the source. Even if it is reliable, do not proceed to feed it to your baby or apply it on their skin!
If your baby has eaten a succulent, all you need to do is treat them gently!
A baby may display symptoms of breathing problems and swallowing if a poisonous succulent is consumed or interacted with.
Open your baby’s mouth and inspect for any plant pieces. If you see them, remove them gently and give water to your baby in tiny sips. Be careful while removing pieces of the succulent from your baby’s mouth, it may cause them to throw up! Don’t make your baby vomit, as that can increase the chances of choking.
Succulents can be dangerous for babies in one way or the other. Even if you have non-poisonous succulent plants, it’s best to keep them out of reach. Where poisonous plants can be harmful when eaten, non-poisonous succulents can cause other reactions such as allergies and choking.
If you want to learn more about harmful succulents, check out this awesome guide on the succulents that can be poisonous.
My name is Jimena and I'm the the founder of Easy Succulents! I'm fascinated by this wonderful plants and I want to share with the world everything I know about them!
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