Toxic but common houseplant put child in hospital

Candace Black's Facebook post.
Candace Black's Facebook post. Candace Black Facebook.

CANDACE Black was at a friend's house in Kingaroy on Friday night when 18-month-old daughter Harriet put a flower from the plant in her mouth and chewed on it.

"We saw her do it and scooped it out of her mouth, we weren't sure if she had swallowed any or not," she said.

"We looked it up and got the shock of our life when we read what it could actually do."

Mrs Black rang the poisons hotline and was told to take her daughter to the hospital.

"She needed to be on a heart monitor for 24 hours because the toxin can take that long to start to have an effect, there's not outwards symptoms, they don't vomit it can just be that they become lethargic and the heart can drop to a a very low critical point," she said.

Luckily Harriet was fine, but Mrs Black wants to warn other parents on the dangers of desert rose.

"I just didn't know that it's so deadly, there are lots of toxic plants, if they start vomiting or get a fever but this one may not be the case."

Mrs Black took Harriet to Kingaroy Hospital. They were transferred to Toowoomba Hospital before being discharged the next morning.

"They were fantastic really good, it turns out she didn't ingest any of the plant, or if she did it was minimal," she said.

"But there is no way to know if it's going to take effect unless they're on a heart monitor."

According to Queensland Health all parts of the plant are toxic, Symptoms may include slow heartbeat, low blood pressure, lethargy, dizziness and stomach upset.

Seek urgent medical attention for any ingestion of the plant.

For more information go to

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