Christmas Holiday Poison Hazards and Safety

By: Erika Kurre
By: Erika Kurre

This time of year can be deadly for small children with decorations scattered around the house and holiday parties. Local pediatricians see several children a week for poisoning and you should know about a recent change in how to treat a child who has swallowed something hazardous.

Each year, more than 1.2 million children younger than five years old are exposed to poisons around the house, according to the American Poison Control Centers.

When it comes to the holidays the dangers are even higher.

"We see problems with children eating ornaments that look like candy, as well as the kind that are glass; those glass balls can cut their throats," said Dr. Angela Blaxton of Southeastern Pediatric Associates.

Most recently the doctors at Southeastern Pediatric Associates treated a child who swallowed a type of evergreen berry.

However, plants and ornaments are not the only things to beware of.

"You just have to think about the normal things that you would think of at other times of the year, but you may not think of because of all the extra decorations you have out; making sure candles are not lit where children can reach them, that when you open presents, you discard the bows and wrapping paper quickly so children don't chew on them and eat them," said Dr. Blaxton

Also, watch where you place alcoholic drinks and cleaning supplies and when you attend parties, designate an older sibling or babysitter to watch the kids.

If your child swallows something hazardous, you should call Poison Control toll-free immediately 1-800-222-1222.

Pediatricians no longer recommend using ipecac to induce vomiting.


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