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Marie Iannotti

Is That Gorgeous Poinsettia Really Poisonous?

By December 6, 2013

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Remember when we played on metal slides that sat in the hot sun all day and ended in a slab of concrete? Today's kids will never know that thrill. Rod Brouhard, About.com's Guide to First Aid, can help protect your kids (and your pets) from a few less thrilling threats around the holidays - namely poisonous holiday plants. Contrary to popular belief, the poinsettia is relatively safe to have on display. In fact, as Rod's list of poisonous holiday plants points out, most of the plants and shrubs we use for decoration will cause only minor stomach irritation or rashes - unless you make a holiday feast of them. Still, it's better to be forewarned; those holly berries can be pretty tempting.

Rod has more on the hazards of Christmas in The Grinch's Christmas Decorating Tips

Photo: hotblack (morgueFile)


December 20, 2007 at 7:30 am
(1) maggi smith says:

This article applies to humans, but how poisonous are poinsettas to cats? I have been told they can be very harmful. Any opinion?

December 20, 2007 at 12:59 pm
(2) Marie Iannotti says:

Current wisdom says the poinsettia is just an irritant, not a fatal poison. I wouldn’t let my pets eat a whole plant, but here’s what the ASPCA had to say in a news alert.

“Says the ASPCA’s Dana B. Farbman, CVT, “In reality, ingestions typically produce only mild to moderate gastrointestinal tract irritation in pets, which may include drooling, vomiting and diarrhea.” So while it’s still a good idea to keep this plant out of your pets’ reach to avoid stomach upset, you need not banish it from your homes.”

December 9, 2013 at 11:21 am
(3) Anita says:

I’ve had two cats and neither one has been interested in the poinsettias that I get. In fact one cat was more interested in the fake silk poinsettia, I couldn’t keep him away from it!

December 9, 2013 at 12:14 pm
(4) Marie Iannotti says:

Silk flowers – your cat has expensive tastes. :-)

Luckily my cats prefer grassy plants. I just wish they could keep them down, instead of throwing them up on my rugs. Gotta love ‘em.

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