Poison Control Suggests 12 Holiday Safety Tips for 12 Days of Christmas

Published : Monday, December 9, 2013 | 1:15 PM

In the spirit of the English carol “12 Days of Christmas,” California Poison Control System urges everyone to practice “12 Days of Safety” for each day leading up to December 25th.

12/14 – Make sure your home is “poison proof” if small children are visiting. Secure all medicines, cleaning products and personal care products before your guests arrive. Poisonings can occur in the home of grandparents who may not remember how quickly children can move or how inventive they can be in exploring new spaces.

12/15 – Take steps to prevent food poisoning. Prior to food preparation, clean all counters and cutting boards with hot water & soap, and wash your hands. After meals, refrigerate food promptly.

12/16 – If you use alcohol or tobacco, make sure these products are out of reach of toddlers.

12/17 – Keep your Christmas tree fresh with water early on, and keep all sources of flame well away from the tree. Put fresh batteries in all your smoke detectors.

12/18 – Carbon monoxide can be a holiday killer. Never heat a home with a gas stovetop, gas oven or use charcoal indoors. Make sure your chimney flue is fully open before enjoying a holiday evening in front of the fireplace. Keep outdoor generators away from windows. Keep flammables away from floor furnaces.

12/19 – Holiday gifts can have flat, coin-shaped batteries. If swallowed, these can cause serious injury. Keep all batteries away from babies, children and pets!

12/20 – Don’t let babies or pets chew on foil wrapping paper. It may contain lead. Do not throw this paper into the fireplace either.

12/21 – Holiday plants, including mistletoe and holly berries, may cause some mild stomach upset if swallowed.

12/22 – Store and serve food only in containers meant for food, and never put non-food items in food containers.

12/23 – Lead can still be found in new and used children’s products, like toys, backpacks, lunchboxes and jewelry.

12/24 – If using snow spray or flocking the tree indoors, be sure to open windows while applying it. Solvents in the spray cans may cause nausea, lightheadedness and headache.

12/24 – Merry Christmas! – Have the poison control number 1-800-222-1222 programmed into all phones. Call anytime, 24/7 for expert advice or questions. For more free weekly safety tips to cell phones, text the word TIPS or PUNTOS for Spanish to 69866.

About CPCS

You can learn more about a variety of poison issues by following CPCS on Facebook at http://on.fb.me/Xyj6xs and on Twitter@poisoninfo. Sign up for weekly safety text messages to your cell phone by texting TIPS to 69866; and download a free iPhone app, Choose Your Poison, at http://bit.ly/gg9vfG. CPCS is dedicated to providing California residents with the most up-to-date information and 24-hour help in case of poisoning. In case of an accidental poisoning, consumers should immediately call 1-800-222-1222 for advice.

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