12 Holiday Tips to Avoid Accidental Poisoning

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With six very active children, I’ve been known to call Poison Control on occasion. I’ve called about motor oil, plant food, drywall, deodorant, oleanders, spider bites, and Christmas Berries.

And I have the white hair to prove it.

I’m so thankful that the Poison Control Hotline is there, thankful that none of our situations were serious. And I’m thankful for these helpful reminders.

12 Holiday Tips from the California Poison Control System

  1. Don’t let babies chew on foil wrapping paper. It may contain lead.
  2. Holiday gifts can have flat, coin-shaped batteries. If swallowed, these can cause serious burns, choking and lead exposure. Keep all batteries away from babies, kids and pets!
  3. If using snow spray indoors be sure to open windows. Solvents in the spray cans may cause nausea, lightheadedness and headache.
  4. Poinsettias won’t kill you. Ingestion may cause mild stomach upset, but aren’t fatal.
  5. Pine needles can get stuck in the throat and cause choking in small children & pets. Keep swept up.
  6. Carbon monoxide: open chimney flues, never use stove or BBQ for indoor heat & keep outdoor generators away from windows.
  7. Holly & mistletoe berries can cause nausea, vomiting & diarrhea if eaten. Pyracantha berries are safer substitute.
  8. Lead can still be found in new and used children’s products, like toys, backpacks, lunchboxes & jewelry. Find out about product recalls & tested products at healthystuff.org
  9. Have the poison control number programmed into all phones. Call anytime, 24/7 for expert advice or questions. We’re here to help.
  10. Holiday visits from grandparents? Purses/bags attract curious kids. Be sure any medicines are put out of the reach of kids.
  11. Washing hands, counters & cutting boards with hot water & soap and washing fruits & vegetables helps prevent food poisoning.
  12. For more free weekly safety tips to cell phones, text the word TIPS or PUNTOS for Spanish to 69866.

— This information was provided by the California Poison Control System. Please verify all information with your local authorities. In an emergency, please call 911. You can become a fan of the California Poison Control System on Facebook and follow them on Twitter @poisoninfo. This is a public service announcement; I was not compensated in any way to post this information.

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  1. I have called for spackling for one of my kids and clove oil for me. Turns out the clove oil is poisonous. I love poison control, and they are generally so nice.

  2. I’ve had to call for deodorant and motor oil too!! That motor oil poop was NOT FUN. LoL!!

    I also learned that if a cleaner doesn’t list ingredients, it is non-toxic. Doesn’t mean we should chug it, but still a good thing to know. Thank you, LA’s Totally Awesome!

  3. “motor oil poop” – LOL!

    My SIL had to call poison control when one girl (now age 3) fed the other girl (now age 2) DESITIN. 2 year old was sitting in her high chair and 3 year old decided she needed desitin. I can’t remember how old they were when it happened..I think the baby was under 9 months so it was a little scary. At least she didn’t get diaper rash from THAT poop. Heh!

    The now 3 year old recently cut her own hair, too. I think they’re going to have lots of fun with that one.

  4. I called poison control when my son (2 yrs. at the time) ate an entire bowl of cat chow. Poison control told me not to worrybecause cat food is healthier than most of the processed snacks we feed our kids and he will have a nice shiny coat for a few days! The cat was not happy with the situation. Not only did he have to share his house with the baby but now his food as well!