Poison Prevention During the Holidays

With the holiday season right around the corner, Child Safe Canada would like to remind you of a few vital safety measures to ensure your family’s safety and well-being around poisons. During the holiday season, emergency rooms in children’s hospitals have a dramatic rise in visits due to poisoning. Most poisoning incidents, often fatal, could have been prevented through simple safety proofing.

Ensure this holiday season is the most enjoyable and safest ever. Safety proofing your home, or areas within your host’s home, takes only a few minutes and provides priceless comfort and safety.

Stay vigilant despite the holidays being such a busy time.

One common mishap during the holidays is leaving items unattended in a young child’s reach. Parents/guardians may be extra busy, and their usual careful attention is divided with the demands of entertaining.

  • When you know you have distractions, slow down and pay attention to potential hazards.
  • Pay special attention to batteries: a swallowed battery can cause severe airway burns. Keep all items with batteries, including button-type batteries, out of reach, and ensure battery doors are secured well.
  • Guests’ handbags and suitcases may contain medications, make-up, perfumes, and other related products. Ask guests to store these items out of reach of children.

Be aware of sneaky poisons.

If you wouldn’t serve it on a dinner plate, it’s a poison, and therefore it should be stored in a safe and secured location. Even a small amount of make-up, a cigarette, or a poisonous plant ingested by a toddler can necessitate a trip to the emergency room.

  • Move dangerous seasonal items such as antifreeze and windshield washer fluids out of sight and out of reach.
  • Ensure the beautiful holiday plants and flowers that you decorate with are not poisonous. You can check their safety online at most local poison control sites.

Inquire about your host’s safety proofing.

During the holiday season we often travel to the homes of relatives or friends, which may not be safety proofed if young children do not live in the home.

  • Be open and speak with your host about the safety of your children.
  • Ask that poisons and other dangerous items, including any bedside or bathroom medications, be moved to a safe, locked cupboard.
Prevention Is the Key to Safety