Plant ingestions among children in the United States are common.National data compiled from poison information centers across the country suggest that 5% to 10% of calls are about plant exposures and that most of these involve children younger than 6 years of age. A surprising number of ingestions occur in children 12 months and younger because of the proximity of household plants to their highchairs and playpens or because berries and leaves have dropped to the floor. Group exposures occur when older children explore their environment and eat berries because they look good or because of peer pressure. The clinical effects of the ingestions on the child can range from mildly irritating to nearly fatal, depending on the plant and the dose. The key to the problem, as with any exposure, is prevention. Knowledge about the proper identification and edibility of plants is paramount.

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