Child recovers after eating poison hemlock at Langford school

Child recovers after eating poison hemlock at Langford school
Poison hemlock is pictured.

A child who was hospitalized after eating poison hemlock at a Langford elementary school has made a recovery, according to the Sooke School District (SD62).

The school district says the child, who was attending a third-party after-school care program at Crystal View Elementary, ate the poison hemlock after mistaking it for an edible plant on Feb. 28.

The child required hospitalization, according to SD62, but has since recovered and is back in school.

The school district adds that the day after the incident occurred, it removed the hemlock and nearby soil, which were located in front of the school.

All of the soil was replaced Tuesday, after several days of work.

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Poison hemlock is pictured. (CRD)

Invasive species

Poison hemlock is an invasive species that can be found across Vancouver Island, and other parts of Canada.

The school district says it monitors for the plant and generally tries to remove it in the spring.

However, warmer recent weather has accelerated the plant’s growth cycle, according to the school district, so it had increased its efforts to remove it from school grounds.

In total, SD62 says hemlock has been spotted on the edges of six school properties, including Ecole Poirier, Dunsmuir, Journey, Centre Mountain Lellum, and Belmont.

“Despite proactive invasive species removal across Vancouver Island, hemlock persists in the community,” said the school district in a statement Wednesday.

“Therefore, education is our best tool for preventing against similar incidents.”

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Poison hemlock is pictured. (CRD)

The school district asks that families familiarize themselves with toxic plants on Vancouver Island and help teach their kids how to identify them.

Poison hemlock can be deadly to humans, wildlife and livestock if ingested. It can also be toxic to the skin or respiratory system, according to the Capital Regional District.

More information on poison hemlock can be found on the CRD website.


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