During the hustle and bustle of the holidays it is easy to overlook items in the home that can a danger to both people and animals. Joan McVoy is the Public Education Nurse at the Nebraska Regional Poison Center and says the number of poisoning incidents involving children increases during the holiday season. She says many toys, games, watches, remotes and even musical greeting cards contain those small disc or button batteries. McVoy says if swallowed they can become lodged and cause serious injury or even death if not removed.
The Nebraska Regional Poison Center also warns visiting relatives to use care with prescription medications. Never leave them on a nightstand or on a bathroom counter. McVoy says questions about medications amount to about 50% of the calls they receive at the Poison Center.
Alcohol is found in holiday drinks and in gifts such as perfume and cologne. It is important to clean up immediately following all holiday parties. McVoy says remove all items that may contain alcohol and keep them out of reach of small children. They also recommend all ashtrays need to be emptied as it only takes a few cigarette butts to send a child to a hospital.
McVoy says it is also important to be mindful of decorations. Tinsel and icicles can be a choking hazard if swallowed. Angel hair is finely spun glass which can cause cuts or irritation when handled or swallowed. Snow sprays used for holiday decor come in pressurized containers and may cause eye damage if sprayed directly in the eye.
The Nebraska Regional Poison Center also recommends keeping their phone number programmed into your cell phone and posted near the land line. That number is 1-800-222-1222.