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Winter Hazards
There are special poisoning concerns during the winter, including carbon monoxide poisoning, and chemicals for the car. 
Follow these important tips to keep your family safe this winter:
  • Install carbon monoxide alarms outside of every sleeping area in your home. If you already have carbon monoxide alarms, check the batteries.
  • NEVER use the gas range or oven for heating, even in power failures.
  • NEVER burn coal or use charcoal in a closed space, even a garage with the door open.
  • NEVER leave an automobile motor running in a closed garage.
  • Store antifreeze and windshield washer solution in a locked cabinet, where children and pets can't get to them.
 Suspect a poisoning? Call your local poison center in Texas at 1-800-222-1222.
 If the person is unconscious, call 9-1-1 for immediate medical assistance.

Case #1:
A  mom called poison help after her 2-year-old child ingested 1-2 holly berries. The mom stated the child has pieces of the berries in her mouth when she found her child. The poison center instructed the mom to give the child something to eat and drink. She was instructed to also monitor the child for an upset stomach and mild drowsiness. The child developed no symptoms.
Case #2:
A 4-year-old child was playing hide and seek with his older sibling and hid behind a poinsettia plant. The mom called poison control after the child complained of an itchy, red rash on his lower arms and chest. The mom was instructed to wash the area with water and gentle soap and apply a topical steroid cream to help decrease the inflammation. It was also recommended that she could give the child a dose of oral Benadryl if needed. The child did great and his rash gradually improved over the next couple of hours.

December 2020

'Tis The Season To Be Poisoned?

As you prepare for the holidays, you may unknowingly bring unexpected dangers into your home. Learn to identify the seasonal products that can be hazardous to your children and pets. 
Remember, this is a busy time for everyone. Be watchful about safe storage and proper product handling, & make sure children and pets are properly supervised.

Hazardous Decorations:
Christmas tree preservatives: Christmas tree preservatives are not necessary! Commercial preservatives may cause stomach upset and vomiting in children and pets who swallow them. Home-made preservatives may contain ingredients that are harmful to children and pets.
Fireplace Flame Crystals: Can be mistaken by children as candy and consist of metal salts such as copper,selenium, arsenic and antimony. If swallowed, these can cause irritation or burning to the mouth and throat. Large amounts can result in heavy metal poisoning.

Tinsel: Can cause choking in pets or small children, can contain lead or tin, and can be toxic if swallowed repeatedly.

Snow sprays: Contain acetone or methylene chloride that can be harmful when inhaled. Longer or concentrated exposures can become significantly more dangerous.

Tree ornaments: If pieces are swallowed, it can cause choking or blockage in the intestines. Antique or foreign-made items may contain lead-based paint.

Holiday Plants:

Amaryllis: A tropical American/African plant whose bulb if digested can cause stomach irritation.
Christmas Trees: The bark, if ingested, can cause nausea, the needles can cause choking, and the tree sap may irritate the skin.
Holly Berries: Small red berries that if swallowed in amounts of more than 2-3 can cause nausea, vomiting, stomach pain or diarrhea in small children.
Mistletoe: The entire plant contains toxic substances. If eaten, it can cause vomiting, redness of the skin, drowsiness or restlessness and hallucinations. In rare cases it can lead to seizures.
Poinsettia: This plant is relatively safe! Eating a large amount can result in a mild stomach upset. The sap can cause a skin rash and should be washed with soap and water.
Pyracantha Berries: If large amounts of the berries are eaten, a stomach ache may result.

Call for help!
Remember, if you suspect that you or someone you know has been poisoned,  call the FREE Poison Helpline at
Your will be connected to a poison center in Texas.
Expert help is available around the clock, every day, even on holidays! 
Program the Poison Help number into your cell phone today.

Want more poison information???
Don't forget to check out the Texas Poison Center Network's blog!