Poinsettia (Euphorbia pulcherrima): Also called Christmas star or Mexican flameleaf. A household plant which is commonly sold at Christmas time. May grow outdoors in warmer climates such as Mexico.

Is it toxic? All parts of the plant contain a sap, which can cause irritation to eyes and skin and mild stomach upset if swallowed.

Health Effects:
Eyes: May cause mild irritation but serious damage to the eye is not expected.

Skin: Often results in no symptoms. Possible mild irritation in sensitive people.
Ingestion: May not result in any symptoms. Possible irritation to mouth and mild stomach upset.

What to do:
Eyes: Rinse eyes with lukewarm water with one of the following methods:

  • Pour a gentle stream of water from a jug or clean teapot over the eye from the inside corner by the nose, across the eye, flowing out towards the ear.
  • Submerge eye in a container (bowl, sink) of lukewarm water. Have patient open and close eye.
  • Eye may be irrigated in the shower if this can be accomplished without delay.
  • Young children may be wrapped like a mummy in a towel with arms at side and held over sink or tub or laid on counter during flushing.

Skin: Wash skin with soap and water and rinse thoroughly.
Ingestion: Rinse out mouth and drink a glass of water or milk.

Do not induce vomiting. If symptoms persist after the above first aid measures contact the Poison Control Centre.

How can I prevent exposure?
Keep out of reach of small children and pets.

Need more information: Call the Poison Control Centre.


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