• Christmas tree ornaments are mainly a choking hazard, but some types of angel hair can be made of spun glass which can cause significant irritation to the mouth and throat if ingested.
• Snow globes are glass or plastic domes filled with water. The snow is made from a non-toxic chalk-like or plastic substance. However, the fluid contained in the globe could become contaminated with harmful bacteria over time, and cause vomiting and diarrhea if ingested (though this is rare).
• Holiday Gifts: The last thing any parent wants to do is give their kids a potentially dangerous gift. It's a good idea to avoid toys that contain small magnets or button batteries which can be swallowed. Ingestion of these items can cause potentially serious damage to the esophagus or intestines. Some of the items that contain small magnets include stress-reliever toys and faux body piercings; button batteries can be found in singing greeting cards, light up pins, jewelry or pens and remote controllers.
• Alcohol (Yes, booze). Do not leave alcoholic drinks unattended when children are around. It doesn't take much for a child to become intoxicated. Just one tablespoon of vodka or tequila will put a 25 pound toddler over the .08 Blood Alcohol Level (BAC); the level that would make an adult legally drunk. That works out to about 1/3 of a vodka and cranberry drink left out on the table during present-opening. A little less than 3 tablespoons (40 ml or just under a shot glass) can induce a coma in a small child.
In addition to specific holiday toxins, one of the biggest issues around the holidays is, for lack of a better word, the hoopla. Picture the scene: kids are in new environments visiting relatives (environments which may not be child-proofed), parents are preoccupied by the turkey in the oven and their cousin they haven't seen since last year and Grandma's purse filled with her prescription medications is just laying unattended on the couch... well you get the picture. Follow these tips to keep kids safe this holiday season.
• Keep relatives' purses, bags and coats (which may contain medications) up high out of reach and sight of children. A locked bedroom will also do the trick.
• Request that your guests hold onto their alcoholic drinks until they've finished and empty abandoned cups immediately.
• Keep a very close eye on kiddos as they get near the tree. Tree trimmings are pretty to look at, but you don't want them trying to give it a taste test.
• Keep holiday plants (like mistletoe or holly) up high out of reach of children and use clear netting underneath to catch any falling berries.
No matter what your holiday has in store, remember that the experts are here for any of your potentially toxic needs at 1-800-222-1222. Yes, we are here on Christmas Eve, Christmas, New Year's Eve, New Years and all other holidays as well!