SOURCE: Nebraska Poison Center, news release
THURSDAY, Dec. 25, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- During the hustle and bustle of the holidays, poisonings involving children increase, experts say.
The Nebraska Poison Center offers the following advice for a safe holiday season.
More than 50 percent of calls to the poison center involve medications, according to a center news release. Relatives and friends often bring medications when they come to stay over the holidays. Never leave medications on a nightstand or anywhere else children can find them. Store medications up and out of reach of youngsters.
Alcohol -- which is found in gifts such as perfume and cologne as well as in beverages -- is a threat to children. Immediately after a party, remove all items that may contain alcohol and keep them out of the reach of small children.
Empty all ashtrays. Just a few cigarette butts can send a child to the hospital.
Take care with lamp oil in candle lamps. These fuels can be attractive to small children because they look like colorful drinks. Aroma and fragrance oils are also widely used during the holidays, and can attract children because they smell good. In large amounts, these oils can cause vomiting and seizures in children.
Don't give children toys with magnets, and watch out for products with disc batteries. If swallowed by a child, these batteries can become lodged and cause serious injury or death.
Keep small children and pets away from seasonal plants such as mistletoe, holly berries, yew plants and poinsettias. Icicles and tinsel can be choking hazards if swallowed. Pressurized cans of snow spray can cause eye damage if sprayed directly in the eye.
Protect your pets. Chocolate, raisins, grapes and some nuts can be highly toxic to some animals.
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has more about holiday health and safety.