Which Flowers Are Safe Around Young Children?

Usually cats and dogs eating houseplants or flowers are a major concern for pet owners, but toxic plants can also pose a risk to young children. Because young children are not always aware of what is and what is not safe for consumption, it is important to consider this when selecting the types of plants and flowers, as well as the placement of them. Make sure that any plants of unknown toxicity are kept out of reach of young children until further research is done. In the meantime, here are a few plants to avoid if you live in a home with young children.


Peace Lily

Most lilies are actually toxic to both humans and animals if they are consumed. Peace lilies, while a very popular decoration for upscale designs and elegant living rooms, need to be closely monitored in the presence of young children. Peace lilies are marked by their big oval leaves and gracefully cupping white flowers – a beautiful plant that does not appear to be a threat but it can make humans sick very easily. Ingesting the peace lily causes a number of effects in humans, including burning and swelling of the mouth and nausea.  Symptoms have been shown to be even worse in animals, so this plant is best stored in a high location or not at all in homes with children or pets.


Philodendrons have been shown to be mildly toxic to humans and very toxic to animals. The leaves are usually very large, lobed or deeply cut. The leaves can also be oval or spear-shaped. The philodendron is a very popular houseplant, so be careful to keep an eye out for it. It can make young children very sick. Philodendron tends to have a mild effect on humans, resulting in swelling of the mouth; however, if large quantities are ingested there are more serious side effects to contend with.


Oleander is an evergreen shrub with small, lovely flowers of white, pink, or red. While beautiful, the oleander is extremely toxic to humans and animals – it is one of the most poisonous plants commonly grown in gardens and houses. Be very careful if an oleander is in a home with children or pets. If the plant is ingested help should be immediately called. Oleander can cause arrhythmia, dizziness, and tremors.


Pothos is an ivy and is a very forgiving plant, making it a popular housewarming gift or starter plant. It has beautifully-shaped leaves and can purify air. In small quantities it is only mildly harmful, but in larger quantities it can produce uncomfortable and serious side effects in both humans and animals. Symptoms include swelling of the lips, tongue, and throat in humans.

There are of course many beautiful plants, from London florists, that are nontoxic to children and pets, but it is important to keep an eye out and research toxicity levels before purchasing a plant.

Which Flowers Are Safe Around Young Children? was last modified: April 5th, 2016 by Todd

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