Keeping the Holidays Safe From Hidden Poisons
Potentially much more toxic are aromatic oils used to give the house a
Christmas scent. Soloway says that while it's hard to make a generalization
about these products, one thing is certain: Children can develop a deadly form
of pneumonia if the oils get into the lungs. That could happen if a child
coughs or chokes while swallowing one. In addition, highly concentrated
"essential oils" can cause seizures if ingested -- even in small
With many parents hitting the road for the holidays, Soloway advises packing
two items along with the gifts and winter clothes: The number of a poison
control center and a bottle of the vomiting agent syrup of ipecac. But under no
circumstances should parents use the latter, until speaking with a
representative from the former.
To find out the number of poison control center near your holiday
destination, visit the American Association of Poison Control Centers homepage
- Many holiday decorations can be toxic if ingested by children, including
holly berries and aromatic oils.
- Parents should also watch out for alcohol at parties, because only a small
amount is necessary to cause alcohol poisoning in children.
- Among the large crowds at holiday celebrations, a single adult should be
charged with watching the children.