Malaysian Girl Bites Into Toxic Houseplant & Gets Mouth Cramps

Danger lurks in the most unexpected places. Unbeknownst to you, you may be harbouring a toxic houseplant in your own home.

Unfortunately for a lady from Malaysia, her child bit into a toxic houseplant – Dieffenbachia – on Thursday (13 Jun). The girl’s suffered persistent mouth cramps and started to salivate uncontrollably.

She made a Facebook post warning other parents of the toxic plant a day after.

We summarise the post below.

Girl suffered mouth cramps & salivated non-stop

While playing outside, a young girl decided to bite into a leaf of a plant out of curiosity.

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However, after biting it, she felt a slight pain and a cramping sensation in her mouth. She ran into her house crying, which shocked her mother.

The girl said she had chewed a leaf from the Dieffenbachia plant before she spat it out and drank water.

By then, it was already too late. The girl’s mouth hung open and she became salivating uncontrollably. Her lips also started to swell.

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Could have been worse if she swallowed the leaves

Seeing her daughter in this state, the mother rushed the girl to the doctor immediately.

Though her lips were swollen, the doctor found that her throat wasn’t swollen and her breathing was normal — signs that she did not swallow the leaf.

Fortunately, the girl said she only chewed on the leaf. Swallowing it could have caused her throat to swell, obstructing her airways. This would have made it hard for her to breathe.

She was given a cream for the swelling, allergy medication and charcoal to absorb the poison in case it entered the stomach.

Thankfully, she started feeling better the next day (14 Jun).

Plant can cause swelling if consumed

Commonly referred to as the “Dumb Cane”, the Dieffenbachia is a common houseplant. You may even own one in your own backyard.

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However, as beautiful as they are, they are also poisonous.

All parts of the plant have microscopic needle-shaped calcium oxalate crystals. If consumed they could cause numbing, oral irritation, drooling, and swelling.

In serious cases, the victim may even be unable to talk. Hence the name “Dumb Cane”.

Mother warns owners of such plants

After going through this emotional episode, the girl’s mother warns other parents about the plant.

“I’d like to advise those who own this plant, best for you to throw it away.”

Kids will always be curious. Therefore, she believes parents should always provide a safe environment for children by removing potentially dangerous houseplants.

Hopefully, more parents will become more aware of the dangers that lurk in their homes.

Featured image from Facebook and Ourhouseplants.