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To think that my dad should have got rid of the foxgloves in his garden?

(73 Posts)
poshsinglemum Wed 03-Jun-09 17:23:53

I have a 11 month dd.
He was surpervising her in the garden and I went out to see them and dd had a flower in her mouth.
I have phoned NHS direct and although it isn't an emergency we have 12 hours of worry ahead of us.

last weekend I told him to get rid of the plants as I said they were a hazard. He said he would do it next year.

I am soooooo angry and worried.

princessmel Wed 03-Jun-09 17:27:28

What are the risks?

I don't know how serious they are but you sound very pfb ish to me. Sorry!

MummyDragon Wed 03-Jun-09 17:29:40

Did your dd have a foxglove in her mouth, or was it another flower?

traceybath Wed 03-Jun-09 17:29:45

Golly, lots of plants/berries etc are poisonous - afraid the onus is on you to supervise 11 month old and watch what goes in her mouth.

Am sure she'll be fine.

SheikYerbouti Wed 03-Jun-09 17:31:18


My kids have both eaten ivy and crab apples. They are both fine and dandy with cast iron constitutions

She will be fine

TrinityRhino Wed 03-Jun-09 17:31:59

Depending on the species, the digitalis plant may contain several deadly physiological and chemically related cardiac and steroidal glycosides. Thus, the digitalis has earned several more sinister monikers: Dead Man’s Bells, and Witches’ Gloves.

The entire plant is toxic (including the roots and seeds), although the leaves of the upper stem are particularly potent, with just a nibble being enough to potentially cause death. Early symptoms of ingestion include nausea, vomiting, anorexia, diarrhea, abdominal pain, wild hallucinations, delirium, and severe headache. Depending on the severity of the toxicosis the victim may later suffer irregular and slow pulse, tremors, various cerebral disturbances, especially of a visual nature (unusual colour visions with objects appearing yellowish to green, and blue halos around lights), convulsions, and deadly disturbances of the heart. For a case description, see the paper by Lacassie.[5]

There have been instances of people confusing digitalis with the relatively harmless Symphytum (comfrey) plant (which is often brewed into a tea) with fatal consequences. Other fatal accidents involve children drinking the water in a vase containing digitalis plants. Drying does not reduce the toxicity of the plant. The plant is toxic to animals including all classes of livestock and poultry, as well as cats and dogs.

Digitalis poisoning can cause heart block and bradycardia (lowered heart rate) and tachycardia (increased heart rate). It can cause either, depending on the dose and the condition of one's heart. It should however be noted, that electric cardioversion (to "shock" the heart) is generally not indicated in ventricular fibrillation in digitalis toxicity, as it can increase the dysrhythmia in digitalis toxicity[citation needed]. Also, the classic drug of choice for VF (ventricular fibrillation) in emergency setting,[6] amiodarone (Cordarone) can worsen the dysrhythmia caused by digitalis, therefore, the second-choice drug Lidocaine is more commonly used

laweaselmys Wed 03-Jun-09 17:31:59

Have just read up on them, and it sounds like she would have to have eaten a lot to overdose, especially if she was only eating the flowers.

Assuming you don't live with your dad - I don't think it is your dad's responsibility to remove plants from his garden that might affect your DD though - it is your responsibility to supervise. Same as if he say had a pond. It's not fair to tell him to get rid of it for a child that isn't there all the time.

Turbomouth Wed 03-Jun-09 17:32:02

What's the issue with them then?

TrinityRhino Wed 03-Jun-09 17:33:29

sorry posted that to show there is risks
but tbh I think she would have to actually ingest quite alot for anyhting to happen

and yabu for asking them to get rid of their plants
we had them and we just watched the kids

Turbomouth Wed 03-Jun-09 17:33:54

Am too slow at typing blush

bumpsoon Wed 03-Jun-09 17:34:09

ok my parents had a labernum tree in their garden when ds was very little and i spent two years worrying that he would eat a pod as when i was a child a freinds cousin ended up in intensive care after eating some ,however i wouldnt of dreamed of asking them to cut it down. I think you need to just keep a close eye on your dd and keep on at her about not touching the purple flowers smile

TrinityRhino Wed 03-Jun-09 17:34:22

hey turbomouth
did you ever get out of bed? grin

frogwatcher Wed 03-Jun-09 17:35:17

And should all grandparents remove ponds, dogs, cats, poisonous plants (of which there are many by the way) etc etc? Cant believe you asked your dad to remove them!! Expect he said next year thinking you would be more laid back by then!!! Your child, your responsibily in my opinion.

poshsinglemum Wed 03-Jun-09 17:36:42

Ok- so I'm overreacting?!

I'd just rather she didn't eat such things. I don't mind if she eats leaves and berries but aren't foxgloves notoriously poisonous?

I think better safe than sorry tbhj.

Shame because they look so pretty.

jeminthecity Wed 03-Jun-09 17:37:16

If you can't trust your dad to supervise, don't leave her with him.

Digitalis is poisonous, I wouldn't leave my kids with anyone who would let them eat plants from the garden- there is a lot of poisonous stuff.

HecatesTwopenceworth Wed 03-Jun-09 17:37:18

I think you can't order someone to remove something from their garden, or house. I think that's unreasonable. You have no right to command it.

However, you can certainly say that it's not safe for your child so unfortunatly she won't be able to come and play.

Or you could stay out in the garden with her and watch her to make sure that she doesn't put any flowers in her mouth.

I mean, you'd think that a close relative would want to remove anything hazardous, but if they don't - you have no right to order them to do so.

belgo Wed 03-Jun-09 17:38:42

Difficult one. If your father was responsible for your dd, then he should either keep a very close eye on her, or get rid of the flowers.

My mil removed a pond from her garden eight years ago. She has five grandchildren who spend one or two days a week at her house and in her garden. Too difficult to watch them constantly and her grandchildren's safety is more important then her pond.

paisleyleaf Wed 03-Jun-09 17:38:44

We've inherited a few poisonous plants here too. Foxgloves, laburnam.
And I've never quite known what to do, as we also have veg growing.
I've just made it as clear as I can to DD to not eat anything growing without checking with a grown-up, without drawing particular attention to certain plants.
And she is supervised in the garden.

It's up to you what you want to do. But unless your parents are minding your child ALOT, I don't think you can be telling them what they can and can't grow

janeite Wed 03-Jun-09 17:39:35


jeminthecity Wed 03-Jun-09 17:39:50

Yeah perhaps you should just not leave her with them until she is old enough to not put stuff into her mouth.
YANBU about your concern, but now you HAVE taht concern, you need to work out how best to manage it, and if they won't remove the plants, fair ebough, sort something else.

Good luck, at the end of the day as long as your child is safe, doesn't matter.

Turbomouth Wed 03-Jun-09 17:40:10

grin yep, out of bed nowblush
that was meant to be a secret don't you knowgrin

MiniMotor is on his way home now so I'll have to abandon MN for now sad

screamingabdab Wed 03-Jun-09 17:41:36

TrinityRhino That was unintentionally hilarious. Really scary Wikepedia entry, followed by "It'll probably be ok" wink

OP - I don't blame you for being worried. I am sure it will be OK though. Ignore the PFB jibes. We were all PFBS once!

Was the flower a foxglove flower? I agree the onus is on you to supervise, as laweaselmys, but maybe your dad will take action about the foxgloves now out of respect for your feelings.

poshsinglemum Wed 03-Jun-09 17:42:34

Ok- but it's a shame not to let grandad mooch around the agrden with dd just the two of them now and again.

As a single mum the only time I get a ''break'' is round at mum and dad's and even then I hardly leave her alone. I've actually onlt spent 6 hours apart from her in 11 months so I would expect my dad to supervise her properly if they went for a walk around the garden alone together. If he wasn't going to get rid of the plants then if they were alone together he should stop her from eating them surely?

But yes I totally agree ''My child, my responsibility''. I wasn't refuting that at all. Hence my concern about the plants in the first place.

PrimulaVeris Wed 03-Jun-09 17:43:03

YAB totally U

There are so many potentially poisonous things around you just cannot avoid them. Your job to monitor I'm afraid, not tell people to uproot their plants. When she is (considerably) older she will realise that you don't eat stuff in the garden.

poshsinglemum Wed 03-Jun-09 17:43:18

She looks fine and I think she will be ok. I know now just to watch out carefully in the garden when she's out there.

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