The holiday season is under way, and one of the things that make the season bright is decorating the home and yard. Many holiday decorations, while beautiful and cheery, can be harmful to small children who explore the brightly colored objects by doing what they do best: putting things in their mouths.
Here is a list of holiday plants that could pose potential health risks to your children (and pets!)
Holly: The bright red berries are especially appealing to little eyes, but the bright red color is Mother Nature’s warning… they are very poisonous, and can be deadly to children if eaten.
Poinsettia: While these are not deadly, ingesting plant leaves or flowers can cause stomach upset, diarrhea, nausea, and vomiting. There is also a milky sap that comes from the leaves and branches if they are broken, and this sap can irritate sensitive skin.
Mistletoe: All parts of this plant are poisonous, leaves, stem, and berries.
Jerusalem Cherry: Bright orange to bright red berries are toxic.
Varieties of Lilies: Can cause kidney failure in cats.
If you suspect your child or pet has eaten any part of the above plants, contact your local poison control immediately.You can contact your local poison control by calling the following number: 1-800-222-1222
More information can be found on the poison control website.
For animal poison control, please call: (888) 426-4435
Depending on the issue, a fee may be charged for a consultation.
The operator will want to know the approximate weight of your child, (or pet,) and how much of what plant was eaten. Do not assume that making your child throw up is the best solution, as different poisons could require different treatments.
Also, if you have a Christmas tree, with beautiful lights all over it, it will most likely be irresistible to a small child. Remember to safe guard all electrical and extension cords, and watch out for little hands reaching out for ornaments. My son actually tried to hold on to the tree when he was little, and almost pulled the entire thing down on top of himself in a moment of toddler imbalance!