The tale of not being poisoned

Quite possibly I am the only person in the world who didn’t realise that berries from the yew tree are highly poisonous, particularly for small children. Which is why, when in Kew Gardens yesterday, I had noticed the toddler chewing on something and saw a red yew berry in her hand, I just threw it away and went and had tea.

Ten hours later, with a perfectly healthy toddler in bed, I mentioned the berry to my husband. You should check that out, he said. And so I did. Moments later I was reading a news article online titled

Boy, 2, survives after eating a yew berry.’

I rang the NHS. The poisons team informed me that if I had rang straight after the incident they would have immediately directed me to the emergency room. But seeing as ten hours had passed with no reaction she obviously hadn’t eat a berry (I suspect she was chewing on one of the acorns which she had been collecting)

The seeds of the yew berry, especially when chewed, are highly toxic. And as my mum said – if the birds don’t eat them nether should we.

Who knew that such a poisonous and highly toxic thing existed in this green and pleasant land? Well obviously people who aren’t as ill informed about nature as me. I thought this kind of danger in nature only existed in hot, more exotic climes. Not in manicured gardens on the outskirts of London.

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