How to Avoid Holiday Poisoning Hazards

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The holiday season is a time for celebration and happiness, and while we’ve turned the chapter to a new year, there are still many holiday hazards lingering around to avoid in the new year.

Research shows that the number of poisoning incidents involving children rises during the holiday season. During the hustle and bustle of the holidays it is easy to overlook items in the home that could cause a poisoning. Miller Electric would like to offer these tips from the Nebraska Regional Poison Center on how to make this “the most wonderful time of the year.”

Store Medications Out of Reach

Visiting relatives may bring more than presents they may bring their medications. Over 50% of the calls to the Poison Center involve medications. NEVER leave medications on a nightstand – make sure to store these up and out of reach.

Be Watchful of Batteries and Small Parts

Toys may contain small cell or disc batteries. If swallowed they can become lodged and cause serious injury or death if not removed. They may be found in games, watches, remotes and musical greeting cards. Also, avoid purchasing toys that contain removable magnets.

Look Out for Gifts With Alcohol in Them

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.  Remove all items that may contain alcohol and keep out of reach of small children. Remember to empty all ashtrays – it only takes a few cigarette butts to send a child to the hospital.

Look Out for Lamp Oil

Lamp oil in candle lamps is frequently used this time of year. These fuels look like pretty and tasty beverages to small children but can cause serious consequences if swallowed. Aroma and fragrance oils commonly used during holidays smell good and attract small children, but can cause vomiting and seizures in large amounts.

Remember, Plants Can be Poisonous

Keep small children and animals away from seasonal plants such as mistletoe, holly berries, yew plants and poinsettias. Poinsettias are not the fatal poison that they were once believed to be, but in large amounts can cause upset stomach. Have the telephone number of the Nebraska Regional Poison Center programmed into your phone. If you suspect a poisoning has occurred, call the Nebraska Regional Poison Center or your physician before attempting any emergency treatment.

Tinsel Can be Troublesome

Be mindful of icicles or tinsel. Both 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 help with holiday décor, but the pressurized container may cause eye damage if sprayed directly in the eye.

When in Doubt, Call the Nebraska Regional Poison Center

Remember, prevention is the best treatment for poisonings. The Nebraska Regional Poison Center offers tips on holiday safety and poison prevention as a free community service to the public. If you have questions or would like to set up an interview, please contact the Nebraska Regional Poison Center at


Source: Nebraska Regional Poison Center


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