Elephant ears contain a protein called asparagine and oxalic acid, which cause poisonous reactions to those who eat the plant. Common complaints after digesting elephant ears includes nausea, diarrhea, vomiting, burning of the mouth and throat, and swelling of the eyes or mouth. Families with small children should keep an eye on them in yards that contain elephant ears. Treatment for ingesting elephant ears should occur as soon as possible to prevent serious complications.
Soak a towel in cold water and wring out. Place the towel inside the mouth of the individual or to yourself. Wipe off the tongue, lips and inside of the mouth.
Wipe off the hands, eyes and face of the person inflicted with elephant ear poisoning. Use several towels if there is an excessive amount of sap on the skin.
Ask if the person can breathe. Oxalate can occasionally prevent a person from being able to freely use their airways. Find out when the person ate the plant, what part of the plant and where. Get the weight and age of the individual.
Call the poison control hotline with the information. If in doubt if the plant that was eaten was an elephant ear, have someone go to the location to take a sample.
Monitor the individual and follow the instructions of the poison control hotline. In many cases, the poison control hotline will request the person be taken in to have blood pressure and heartbeat checked.
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