Thursday, December 21, 2017

Poison Safety Holiday Tips from the Texas Poison Center Network

It is the most wonderful time of year! The magic of Christmas and Santa brings lots of joy this season, but it can also bring nausea, vomiting or other bodily reactions if you are not careful. The Texas Poison Center Network wants to help you avoid any unintentional poisonings, so check out our holiday poison safety tips below to keep you & your loved ones safe!

Food Safety

·         Wash Your Hands! Whenever you are preparing food, it is so important to wash your hands before, during and after to prevent food poisoning. (And spreading germs!)

·         Always make sure to cook food well to reduce potential poisoning- poultry-180 degrees F, beef-160 degrees F and pork-160 degrees F.  Cover and reheat leftovers to 165 degrees Fahrenheit before serving.

·         Keep cold foods cold and hot foods hot.. If food is left out at room temperature for more than two hours, bacteria can grow and sickness can ensue. This means leftovers should be put up right away.

·         Never use unvented fuel-burning devices in a home or apartment, because carbon monoxide (CO) poisoning can occur. Read our blog on CO poison safety here.

·         Remember, contaminated food is not always evident. If you are unsure if an item is still okay to eat, it is probably best to throw it out. Safety first!

Potentially Dangerous D├ęcor

Tree Ornaments: Some ornaments are made of very thin metal or glass. If a child were to ingest part of an ornament, it could potentially cause them to choke. Practice safety first when choosing ornaments to use on your tree with little ones in the home. You can find lots of ornaments offered in stores that are unbreakable and best to use around children.

Gift Wrap: Overall, gift wrapping paper is pretty safe. But it is possible for some colored gift wrap or foil to contain lead. Don’t let babies chew on paper as a precaution.

Holiday Plants

Poinsettia: The poinsettia’s reputation is worse than it merits. In reality, the poinsettia is a minimally poisonous plant. If ingested in very large amounts it may cause varying degrees of irritation to the mouth, nausea or vomiting. The sap on the plant can also cause a skin rash, so when handling these plants, make sure to wash your hands with soap and water afterwards as a precaution.

Holly berries: While these berries are visually appealing, if ingested they can cause a stomach ache, nausea, vomiting and diarrhea. Keep these berries out of reach of children.

Mistletoe: If this plant is ingested, it can leave you feeling a little crummy. Common symptoms of ingestion can include vomiting, diarrhea and stomach ache.

Remember, as always, if you or someone you know is potentially poisoned, please do not hesitate to contact the Poison Control hotline at 1-800-222-1222. We hope everyone has a safe holiday season!