Plant poisonings in children

Hum Exp Toxicol. 1996 Mar;15(3):245-9. doi: 10.1177/096032719601500310.


1. Plant poisonings comprise 5% of all hospitalizations due to poisonings in children and plant inquiries to Poison Information Centre consist about 28% of calls concerning children. 2. A search of 71 cases of hospitalization due to plants in a 5 year period obtained from two children's hospitals in Helsinki were reviewed and 105 plant inquiries concerning poisonings among children to the Poison Information Centre in a 6 month period were studied. 3. The most frequent plant poisonings involved lily-of-the-valley, dumb cane and cotoneaster plant. Only 11% of the cases treated in hospital were evaluated to be unequivocal poisonings. 4. Mezereon, snowberry, cotoneaster plant, honeysuckle, and woody nightshade caused the most serious symptoms. Symptoms in mezereon poisoning were increased saliva excretion, haematuria and diarrhoea in a 1.2-year-old girl. Snowberries caused a semicomatose state and difficulty in urination, cotoneaster caused severe stomach ache, honeysuckle abudant gastrointestinal symptoms and muscle cramps, and nightshade led to prolonged high fever and sweating. 5. It appears that almost all plant poisonings could be treated with medical charcoal. Gastric evacuation is seldom required.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Male
  • Patient Admission
  • Plant Poisoning / etiology*
  • Plant Poisoning / therapy
  • Poison Control Centers