Happy December! There are many holidays that are celebrated this month and no matter what you are celebrating, you want to make sure your kids are safe. A common theme for many holiday decorations is candles. Candles need to be kept away from the reach of children and away from any paper, decorations or plants such as evergreens. Not using candles at all may be the right choice if you have a curious toddler at home. Also use caution with fireplaces, make sure they are clean and the flue is open.
A few common but potentially dangerous plants that are used in decorations:
Mistletoe: if ingested, can cause blurred vision, abdominal pain, nausea, and diarrhea; 1-2 berries are probably ok, but definitely best to not have live mistletoe around
Holly: 1-2 berries can cause abdominal pain, but as few as 15-20 berries can cause death.
Amaryllis & daffodils: the bulbs are toxic if eaten
Jerusalem cherry: is a species of nightshade, the fruit is most toxic, but the leaf and stem are as well.
Poinsettia: can cause stomach upset but generally are not toxic
Evergreen trees: can be prickly if chewed and potentially problematic if inhaled but generally are not toxic
If there is a question about anything a little one ingests, call Poison Control at 1-800-222-1222. This is a free number and they are there to help you. This includes any medications (prescription or over the counter), household cleaners or anything else unusual your kids get into as well. It’s a good idea to have this number written down by the phone. Our office has stickers and magnets you can pick up the next time you are in.
Real evergreen trees should be kept well watered as a dry tree can lose needles and pose a fire hazard. Artificial trees should be fire resistant. Of course, supervise little ones to prevent a tree from being pulled down. My house will have a baby gate around the Christmas tree this year!
We wish you a safe holiday season!