Text Size:SmallerNormalLargerPrint PageE-mail Page

Holiday Safety and Poison Prevention Tips

The holidays will soon be upon us. Along with all the fun and excitement, decorating and presents, and family and cooking comes the worry of the possibility of poisonous and harmful decorations and plants. Here are a few things to watch out for if you are a parent or if you just have kids coming to visit.

Button Batteries
These batteries come in many things and, if lodged in the esophagus, can burn a hole in it in just 2 hours, causing severe damage or even death.

Poisonous Plants
When decorating, be sure to pick non-poisonous plants. If eaten, holly and mistletoe berries can cause death in children or severe illnesses in adults. If you use holly or mistletoe, place them up high where children can't reach them.

Christmas Tree Preservatives
While commercial preservatives used on Christmas trees are not life threatening, they will cause stomach upset and vomiting in children and pets. The preservation can also become stagnant. Bacteria grows well in stagnant water and can cause stomach issues. It is recommended that you use plain water to preserve your Christmas trees.

Alcoholic drinks
Make sure that if you serve alcohol at gatherings, glasses are set up high enough children can't reach them and drink out of them. Children that drink alcohol can develop low blood sugar, which can cause seizures or comas due to the brain not getting enough glucose.

Ornaments - Small pieces from ornaments and bubble lights
The bubble lights contain methylene chloride. If swallowed or absorbed through the skin, it becomes carbon monoxide. Carbon monoxide can cause nausea, vomiting, headaches, comas, seizures and even death. So if you choose to use the bubble lights, make sure young children don't play with them and break them. Also be careful if you use older ornaments because they tend to break easier and can cause cuts, which is a common holiday injury.

If you encounter any situations where you suspect poisoning, call your local Poison Control Center at (800) 222-1222 or seek medical attention promptly at Sabetha Community Hospital Emergency Room.