Mother warns parents about toxic plant

Posted at 11:28 PM, Mar 31, 2017
and last updated 2017-03-31 23:28:53-04

A Sebring mother wants to warn parents about a toxic plant after she thought her child swallowed a seed.

Rosary pea grows wild in Florida.

Brittany Gaudino said Saturday afternoon her children were playing outside when she noticed the tiny red seeds in their hands.

"I immediately asked them to drop them. (I) asked (them) did you eat any? They said no. I knew they were toxic. I didn't know how toxic," Gaudino said.

She called poison control that night after her 2-year-old son vomited, which is a symptom if you ingest a seed. Gaudino was not 100 percent sure whether her son swallowed a seed.

"I didn't sleep. My husband didn't sleep. I mean he stayed up all night long watching the baby monitor. (We were) just afraid that something might happen," Gaudino said.

According to Alred Aleguas with the Florida Poison Control in Tampa, the seeds have a toxin inside that is hard to get to.

"It's waxy (and) very hard. (The seed is a) waterproof shell. You can't leach anything from it, but if you break through that and crunch it up and then ingest it there is some possibility for some poisoning," Aleguas said.

Aleguas said the threat of poisoning yourself is low.

"It's a great idea to know what plants you have in your backyard. In Florida, that's particularly important because we have a lot of plants that have the potential to be poisonous or toxic," Aleguas said.

The Gaudino's plan is to work with someone to remove every single rosary pea plant from their property, which is 14 acres.

"There are a lot of people who don't know just how toxic and deadly this plant can be. If it helps save a life, that's what we're trying to do here," Gaudino said.

If you are ever concerned your child has swallowed or eaten something they were not supposed to, do not hesitate to call the Florida Poison Center at  1-800-222-1222.