Holiday Decorations Sometimes Harmful, Poison Center Warns

Christmas decorations may be pretty, but they also can present dangers to children.

Tucson, AZ— Christmas decorations may be pretty, but they also can present dangers to children. The Arizona Poison and Drug Information Center at The University of Arizona College of Pharmacy and Safe Kids Tucson warn parents to keep holiday plants, ornaments and accessories out of reach of youngsters.

Holiday plants that pose risks, especially to tots and pets:

  • Mistletoe, when swallowed, can cause nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, drowsiness, blood pressure changes, hallucinations and seizures.
  • Azalea, rhododendron, amaryllis, Christmas berry, holly and Jerusalem cherry can all cause nausea and vomiting, among other effects, when ingested.
  • When touched, Christmas pepper and chrysanthemum can cause burning and skin rashes.
  • Despite popular belief, poinsettias are not the most toxic Christmas plant. They may cause mild gastrointestinal symptoms, but they are not highly toxic.

Decorations to be careful of:

  • Angel hair, which consists of spun glass, can cause severe irritation and pain when it penetrates the skin.
  • Small tree ornaments, tinsel and icicles present a choking hazard to little ones.
  • Snow spray used to decorate windows can damage the eyes.
    Oil candle lamps have liquid fuels that if swallowed can cause hospitalization.
  • Colorful fireplace powders and logs contain heavy metals such as lead that are particularly dangerous to children when inhaled.

Call the poison center at 800-222-1222 anytime you think a child or pet may have been exposed to a product that could cause harm. The center is open 24 hours daily. Find more poison prevention tips at www.pharmacy.arizona.edu/outreach/poison

 

About Safe Kids Tucson
Safe Kids Tucson is a network of community partners working to prevent unintentional deaths and injuries to children ages 14 and under.


About the Arizona Poison and Drug Information Center
The Arizona Poison and Drug Information Center is a center of excellence at The University of Arizona College of Pharmacy. The center is certified by the American Association of Poison Control Centers. Specially trained pharmacists answer about 75,000 calls from Arizonans a year. About half of the calls concern a human exposure to something toxic, and about half of those calls involve young children.