Saturday, February 04, 2006


My son has a pretty bad rash on his arms, so, in trying to think what could have caused it, I remembered that a few days ago he was in the front yard, pulling leaves off of bushes and trying to make a bird's nest with them. Then I remembered that some of the plants in our front yard are poisonous, so I went directly online to see if touching oleanders=rash on skin. And what did I find out about that oleander shrub?

"All of its parts are very poisonous. For example, one leaf is enough to cause death."
"The characteristic poisoning symptoms are as follows: nausea, vomiting, accelerated or retarded heartbeat, and cardiac arrest."
"So powerful is this poison that a single leaf of an oleander can kill a child. And, many people have died merely from eating steaks speared on oleander twigs and roasted over a fire."
"TOXICITY RATING: High. Ingestion of even small amounts can kill."

Oh. My. Gosh. Why has nobody told me this before?

That plant is so outta here. I may not sleep well until it is gone.


c jane said...

First let me say that I hope your son is o.k.
And second you mention the reason why I could never live in Arizona. Things like poisonous plants -IN YOUR OWN FRONT YARD!!!
Also, I think I might be commenting only minutes after you posted which makes me looks like I am a stalker. Yes a stalker -ON YOUR OWN BLOG!!!
But it sounds like botany might be your new obsession???

Alice said...

Eer... I think you need to see the movie White Orleander.

neil and diana said...

Emily, is he OK? That is scary.

Emily said...

Alice--I realize that if I were more up on pop culture, I would have already read that book and/or seen the movie, and probably already know that oleander kills. Alas, I am not.

D--He just has a rash on his arms, but no cardiac arrest yet, so I think he's fine.

CJane--I can't think of anything to say, except thank you, tell me about it, I'm not worried, and I doubt it.

ahc said...

E-- Don't worry, you can live the rest of your life without reading (or seeing) White Oleander.

amyjune said...

I hope he is ok. A few weeks ago Mike ripped out 2 Oleander bushes from our backyard when my Mom told us they were poisonous. yup, poisonous plants exist here in the paradise we call Southern Califorina too.
As for the movie/book, read the book and forget the movie. I loved the book but then again I am a social worker and it was about a kid who bounced around from foster care placement to foster care placement, so I do have a biased opinion.
and please don't stop the blog phase.

Steve said...

Steve's theory on the rash: Our son has a habbit of sucking on the back of his hands--the fleshy part between index finger and thumb. This leads to severe chapping and exima. (A vicious cycle apparently--the more he sucks, the worse the chap; the worse the chap, the more he sucks.) Apparntly this chapping became infected, leading to a rash which is most prevelent on his hands in the above-decscibed area, and then continuing (though in diminishing density and intensity) up his arms, then disappearing around his shoulders. Our bishop--an allergist--said that the rash was probably from such an infection, and to put a little cortizone on it. (BTW--that's another good blog topic--getting the doctor in your ward to do little checkups after sacrament meeting--I'm totally opposed, but obviously guilty.)

Anyway, toxicity of the oleander conceeded (and disdained) (and thank you all for the worry for his well-being), he's much more likely to go into cardiac arrest from PTSD from crying and wining about Daddy putting on lotion to cure the exima (which has been a frequent occurance in our house in the last year or two) than he is to die from impailing himself on or ingesting oleander--which is to say, cardiac arrest is not very likely.

And I'd just like to say that I played with oleanders all the time growing up, and here I am just fine.

I started reading the book in law school. It's trash. An unabashed aim at landing the author on the Oprah book club. It worked. Jocelyn, if you're reading, there's maybe your avenue for getting on the show.

Carly said...

Woah. Is the rash gone yet?