Holiday hazards: Keep kids safe from ornaments, plants and more

A report released last month revealed that toy injuries alone resulted in 185,000 visits to the emergency room

Christmas hazards

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WYTV) – It may be the most wonderful time of the year in a child’s eyes, but it can also be dangerous — especially for young children.

Last month, a report released by the Consumer Product Safety Commission revealed that toy injuries alone resulted in 185,000 visits to the emergency room.

There was also 11 deaths among children under the age of 15.

“We know what children do,” said Henry Spiller, the Director of the Central Ohio Poison Center at Nationwide Children’s Hospital. “At our center here in Ohio, we manage about 20,000 cases of children getting into something a year. It’s daily to us.”

Things like Christmas tree ornaments, light bulbs, tinsel, small toys and button batteries are potential choking hazards for small children because they may block their airway.

“Coughing, breathing difficulties and obstruction,” Spiller said. “But kids playing with those toys, if they get the batteries out and swallow it — which they do — that gets us fairly concerned.”

Even decorative holiday plants like mistletoe, holly and poinsettias are considered potentially poisonous — and should be kept out of the reach of kids.

“But they’re not as dangerous as perhaps their reputation is,” Spiller said.

This holiday season, experts urge parents not to hesitate to call the Poison Control Hotline (800-222-1222).

“Parents are sometimes a little hesitant,” Spiller said. “But we understand and we’re gonna let them know if it’s something they can manage with some simple remedies — what to watch for — or if this is something dangerous and we need to go further. But you’re gonna know right away.”

For more information on potential holiday hazards, check out nationwidechildrens.org for all the tips on plants, ornaments, lights, candles and gifts.