December Newsletter

Case #1

A 3 year old boy was playing outside at his grandma's house when he ate a poinsettia leaf. Although the grandmother was really scared and in a panic, the specialist told her that the grandchild would be okay. She was told to give the child a snack and plenty of fluids.

Case #2
A 15 month old toddler was playing with a bubble light from the Christmas tree and broke it. The child ingested the liquid inside the bubble light and the parents immediately called poison control. Since the liquid is known to metabolize in the body into carbon monoxide, the specialist advised the mother to take her to the hospital for an evaluation. With guidance from poison control, the hospital observed the child for some time and was discharged home with no complications.
Bath Bombs:
  • The bright colors and food shapes of many bath bombs can be attractive to children.
  • Ingesting a small amount can cause irritation, nausea, vomiting, & diarrhea. Large amounts have the potential to cause serious toxicity.
  • Some imported or antique jewelry may contain lead or cadmium & may present a hazard if mouthed, chewed, or swallowed.
  • Avoid buying jewelry when no information is provided as to where it was made.
Food Baskets:
  • Holiday food baskets are full of baked goods, nuts, candy, & other foods. People love them, but they often contain products that can be harmful to pets.
  • Chocolate, cocoa, raisins, sugar free candy, & macadamia nuts are all poisonous to pets.
Button battery powered items:
  • Tiny, flat, coin-like batteries commonly used in watches, cameras, games, & toys can be hazards.
  • If swallowed, they can stick to the throat or stomach causing serious burns as the chemical leaks out.
An old Christmas carol says the holiday season is “the most wonderful time of the year,” and that can certainly be true. By taking a few precautions, you can focus on family and fun this holiday season – and ideally avoid some holiday hazards.

Follow these tips to ensure your holidays are merry, peaceful and safe:
  • Though once believed to be fatal, poinsettias, if consumed, can cause some gastrointestinal discomfort, including vomiting, but are not likely to be fatal. Keep small children and pets away from poinsettias to keep the plant pretty and the kids and pets comfortable.
  • Keep small children and animals away from other seasonal plants, including Mistletoe berries, Holly berries, the fruit of Jerusalem Cherry, and all parts of Yew plants.
  • Christmas tree preservatives are usually not toxic but it is still important to check the label for special ingredients and warnings. As for the trees themselves: pines, spruces, and junipers can cause stomach discomfort if large amounts are ingested.
  • The prettiest old ornaments might have hidden hazards. Beware of cuts from broken glass and be aware that some older ornaments may be decorated with harmful lead paints.
  • Lead is also a hazard in some tree light wires. Wash hands before and after handling tree lights.
  • Be mindful of “icicles” or tinsel, both of which can be a choking hazard if swallowed.
  • Angel hair is finely spun glass, which can cause cuts or irritation when handled or swallowed.
  • If relatives come to stay through the holidays, be sure their medications are put away.
  • Lock medicines in a suitcase or, if in a purse, place it out of reach. NEVER leave medications on the nightstand. A child might wander into the room at any time and, what clearly appears to be medication to you, can look like candy to them.
  • Designate a locked room where relatives and guests can place coats and purses that may contain medications.
  • Empty ashtrays often, and when the party is over, clean them out. Ingesting cigarette butts can be harmful to a child.

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