Be safe this season! Holiday celebrations can bring children in contact with many potential
hazards. Keep children safe by keeping hazards and poisons out of reach.
Medications: Make sure visitors put their medications in a locked area where
children can’t get them.
Holly Leaves and Berries: The leaves and crushed pits are poisonous if a large
amount is swallowed. Eating a few berries can cause vomiting, cramps, and diarrhea.
Mistletoe: Vomiting, diarrhea, high blood pressure, and convulsions can occur if
berries are swallowed.
Holiday Trees: The evergeens are non-toxic with the exception of the Yew, which has
red cup-like fruits on its branches. The leaves and seed pits are toxic. Be careful what
is added to the water in the tree stand. Pets may drink it and some preservatives are
Batteries: Small batteries can cause blockages if lodged in the ear, nose, throat,
stomach, or intestines. Acid burns can occur if batteries open inside the body.
Toy Recalls: Check for alerts at – www.parents.com or http://www.cpsc.gov/
Choking Hazards: Children under 4 years of age have small airways and
underdeveloped muscles, which leads to difficulty coughing up objects. Keep toddlers away
from hotdogs, grapes, nuts, hard candy, marshmallows, popcorn, chewing gum, latex
balloons, coins, marbles, small balls, toys with small parts, and button batteries.
Holiday Tree Ornaments: Antique or imported ornaments may have lead-based paint
which would be a hazard if ingested.
Poinsettia: This plant is not very toxic, but the sap can be irritating. If a piece
has been chewed, clear child’s mouth of plant material and offer something to drink.
Angel Hair: This tree decoration is made of finely spun glass and can cause
irritation to skin, eyes, and throat. When handling, wear gloves and avoid contact with
eyes, as eye damage may occur if particles become embedded or rubbed into the eyes.
Snow Globes: The “snow” is calcium carbonate, which is non-toxic. The liquid can be
water, glycerin, or an extremely toxic product called ethylene glycol. Pets have been
poisoned after licking fluid from a broken snow globe.
Tinsel: These shiny icicles can cause airway or intestinal blockage if eaten by
children or pets.
Bubble Lights: These lights contain a poisonous liquid called methylene chloride
that can be a danger if fluid from several lights is swallowed.
Alcohol: Ethanol found in liquor, perfume, mouthwash, or hand sanitizers can be
poisonous to children. After just a couple of swallows, it may cause a drop in the blood
sugar, leading to confusion, convulsions, or coma.
For more information visit www.poisoncentertampa.org