‘Tis Always the Season for the Missouri Poison Center

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This post is sponsored by the Missouri Poison Center.

The holiday season is quickly approaching– heck, some enthusiasts consider it already here! Regardless of whether you pull out the holiday decor in September or December, it’s important to remember that amid our traditions and rituals, there are some safety concerns surrounding the holidays to consider. The Missouri Poison Center aims to make you aware of potential dangers to prevent them, and they’re also there as a free resource, available 24/7 to support you. Program their number into your contacts, and download their app to your phones.

Missouri Poison Center

1-800-222-1222

 

Carbon Monoxide Safety

We’re starting to feel a consistent chill in the air, which means we’ll switch from AC to heat. Be sure to have your furnaces and heaters inspected seasonally to ensure they’re in tip-top shape! Not only will this save you on repairs and bills, it can also protect you from potentially harmful carbon monoxide leaks. It is equally important to have your fireplace and flue inspected before using them for the season as well.

According to the Missouri Poison Center, “Carbon monoxide is a poisonous gas and is sometimes called the “Silent Killer” because it sneaks in with no color, odor, or taste.” Carbon monoxide risks go up in the winter as we use more fuel-based appliances.

Having a carbon monoxide detector on each level of your home, especially near bedrooms, is recommended.

TRAVEL TIP: Carbon monoxide detectors are inexpensive— bring a couple of them with you on your travels. When staying in a hotel or an Airbnb, you can’t guarantee their inspections are up to date so protect yourself and your family.

 

Candles and Scented Items

There’s nothing like a scented candle to give your home all the smells of the season. Be extra vigilant not to leave little ones alone in the room with a lit candle, likewise, remember to extinguish the flames when you’ll be away for an extended period.

TRAVEL TIP: When visiting friends and family, their homes may not be childproofed the way yours is so take stock of their lit candles, dishes of potpourri that smell like they should taste good, and other hazardous items you may find within reach … and either ask your host if you can move them, or be extra vigilant.

Medications

Holiday guests without young children may not be as careful and may have medications in a purse that can be reached, or left on a bedside table. Ask your guests to keep their meds out of reach or keep the doors to their rooms locked.

Similarly, with the legalization of marijuana in many states, your guests may be traveling with it. Marijuana comes in so many forms, such as edibles, that resemble food or candy which is tempting for kids. 

According to the Missouri Poison Center, some symptoms to be aware of with cannabis consumption in children are: anxiety, panic, dizziness, slurred speech, decrease in coordination, and even potentially a coma. Even if you aren’t sure that they’ve been exposed, call the poison center just to be sure.

TRAVEL TIP: When we travel, it’s tempting to put our pills in ziplock bags or Tupperware containers and to leave our pill bottles behind. It is far better to keep medication in the child-resistant bottle that it comes in not only so that the caps slow children down, but also so we can properly identify the pills by their label. When traveling, be sure to bring more medication than you may need to be sure you don’t run out in case of travel delays or dropping / losing a pill. 

 

Toys and Gifts

The holidays are a booming time of year for battery makers! So many toys and devices require them. 

Disc batteries are small enough to be swallowed, and while they often pass right through, sometimes they may get stuck in the esophagus and cause damage. According to the Missouri Poison Center, “Quick action is very important because a disc battery can cause an electrical burn to the esophagus within a matter of a couple of hours.” These batteries can also be harmful in noses and ears. If you suspect a battery may have been swallowed, err on the side of caution and call the Missouri Poison Center right away. 

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Another thing to keep in mind when purchasing toys and games this season, tiny magnets can be harmful to children and pets if swallowed, as can water beads. Water beads may be labelled as “safe” and “non-toxic” which is true, however these beads are made to absorb liquid and expand which is extremely dangerous when it happens inside the body as it can cause blockages.

Keep the magic and joy in your holiday season knowing the Missouri Poison Center is with you every step of the way to help keep your family safe. The Poison Center is staffed every day of the year, so even on the holidays, one of their nationally certified specialists is always available for any of your questions and concerns. Whether traveling or at home, keep their contact info handy and use it for any questions or concerns that arise. 

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