Fa la la la folly: Beware of holiday dangers

Boy cutting christmas lights

My house is no longer child proof.  When my kids were young, everything was locked up to the point that an act of Congress was required to get to medications, cleaning supplies and other household items just waiting to do my children in. But that was then and this is now.

I do not have young children around the house and rarely even think about household poisons anymore, but the holidays bring visitors of all ages to my house and, of course, we visit people where there are small children milling about.  These little ones are curious to a fault. How did I ever cope with their ongoing quests for danger when my two were little?

Frank LoVecchio, DO, outlines some of the many ways a youngster can wander into trouble, possibly end up at the Emergency department, and worse, over the holidays.

For example, I am now keeping an eagle eye on my purse and the purses of visitors. Not because I worry about anyone taking my valuables, but because of what purses may hold. While I do not take any prescription medications, like many, I carry a supply of analgesics for an occasional headache.  A child could find these and accidently ingest them thinking they are candy. If you carry prescription and non-prescription meds, please keep your purse away from the prying hands of little urchins.

Decorations can be a problem as well. Those lovely scented candles can pose a fatal attraction for youngsters, whether lit or just sitting there smelling like cookies, cream and peppermint. Seasonal plants are also dangerous, as Dr. LoVecchio points out in his column.

Oh, and those lovely vintage ornaments I take pride in and cherish can actually contain lead! And, of course, since they were made from the most delicate glass, if broken could cause cuts and, of course, my misplaced outrage .

So heed Dr. LoVecchio’s advice and pay attention to the various things that can cause accidental poisonings and lock them away or remove them to keep them away from curious children. Visit the Banner Poison and Drug Information Center for more information.

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