Medical Mythbuster: Are Poinsettias Really Dangerous?

Well, not exactly. These plants, which are very popular around the holiday season, do have some low toxicity to people and animals (as do many other plants). However, they have never been known to cause significant illness or death.

The leaves of poinsettias are known to taste very bad, which helps deter people and pets from eating them. Plus, it is estimated that a 50-pound child would need to eat around 500 leaves to get very sick. So, there’s probably more important things to worry about during the holidays than poinsettias (although the plant can potentially cause a skin rash). Just to be safe, however, it’s a good idea to place poinsettias and other houseplants in a place where young children and pets can’t reach them.

If you believe you or someone you know has been poisoned by something they ate or came into contact with, you can contact the experts at the Poison Control Center. They can help you determine whether you need immediate medical attention or if it’s much less serious…such as some bad eggnog.

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