So early this evening I was out on a nice walk with S. The temperature was perfect, the birds were chirping and the scent of BBQ was in the air. I sang songs to her, she enjoyed the bucket swing at the playground and I gave her various leaves and flowers to hold & explore. Including one which looked like this:
These are all over the place in our area right now - in fields, lawns and parks. Obviously a weed of sorts but actually kind of pretty! S played with it in her hands a bit and then brought it up to her mouth and chomped down. Oops, probably shouldn't allow that, huh? By the time I pulled it away, however, she'd gotten a couple petals into her mouth and was chewing away at them. I tried to fish them out but I'm not sure I got everything.
I chastized myself a bit on the way home, because I didn't actually know what this thing was. Heck, it could have been poisonous. :-/ But I didn't really think much more about it until after S went to sleep (which went fine.) Then, I decided I should check into things further to be on the safe side. I consulted Google Images which suggested that the plant was Bird's-foot Trefoil. And guess what? This stuff IS poisonous!! It contains cyanogenic glycosides which can cause symptoms of cyanide poisoning when digested.
Naturally, I kind of freaked out. Googling around a bit more suggested that, if affected, symptoms would appear within several hours. It had been 4-5 hours at this point and S seemed just fine. (I checked on her and she was sleeping soundly.) Regardless, I still decided to call Poison Control. The nice & chatty woman on the other end was reassuring. Like peach pits and apple seeds, she said, S would have had to digest a HELLUVA lot of B-FT to get sick. One or two petals? Pish posh.
So needless to say, I feel better now. And inspired, obviously, to write this post!
I got thinking about our ironies and idiosyncracies as parents. How, often inexplicably, we are conservative about some things and liberal about others, especially when it comes to health and safety-related topics. As this post would indicate, I've been pretty liberal (up until this point, at least) letting our daughter explore nature. Lord knows she has her fair share of man-made toys and functional objects, so I relish the opportunity to expose her to organic matter whenever possible. That said, today was a bit of an eye opener so I'm definitely going to be more careful on this front moving forward.
But let's look at some other health & safety related topics. I'm kind of all over the board when it comes to our daughter. For example:
- Skin, hair and cleaning products - very conservative; I seek out all-natural, eco-friendly products whenever possible. For example, we use Country Save laundry detergent (which is biodegradable and "everything-free") and I'm willing to pay through the nose for mineral-based sunscreen in order to avoid the scary ingredients found in their commercially-available counterparts. Oh, and on a related note, I *really* hate putting a 'sposie on her. I've only had to do it a couple times but it Just. Feels. Wrong.
- Germ exposure - somewhat liberal. While I don't set out to purposefully get my daughter sick, I also don't worry too much about what she touches, who she's around and ensuring that my floors are spotless 24/7. After all, I'm pretty convinced that a little dirt is good for you!
- Solids - somewhat liberal, in terms of the "standard" guidelines on what to eat., I'll give her tastes of what I'm eating at times and I've dabbled around in baby-led weaning. Oh, and I'm definitely not going to wait until 3 years to give her peanut butter! However I'm quite conservative regarding the quality of what she eats day to day. We go organic whenever possible.
- Vaccinations - middle of the road. I don't love the idea of them and I have some lingering doubts, however I feel that the benefits outweigh the possible drawbacks when it comes to highly-established vaccines. I'm much more leery of the newer ones on the market today (flu, chicken pox, Gardasil, etc.)
There are probably other categories as well, but this list is pretty illustrative.
So what about you? Which topics are you particularly liberal or conservative about? Have you ever inadvertently poisoned your own child? :)