Holiday hazards: 5 ways to keep your family safe

SYRACUSE, N.Y. — The holidays bring many new items, people and activities into our homes which can include some hazards you and your family need to be aware of. Items that are meant to bring joy can also bring danger.

Your home may be filled with festive, holiday decorations and spirits, but looks can be deceiving. Many items can also be hazardous to your children. Cocktails, for example, can sometimes look like juice. "The products that are out there today - everything from beer to whisky to spirits," said Lee Livermore, the Public Education Coordinator for the Upstate Poison Center. "It's very very confusing and it's easy for a child to get into a product and have an alcohol exposure.”

Livermore says while families celebrate the holidays, they need to be mindful of potential dangers lurking in their homes, and that starts with the boys you buy. "Two magnets if they're ingested by a child can cause a very serious problem in their digestive track and would require a trip to the emergency room," Livermore said.

It is not just magnets, but also lead paint that parents need to be concerned about. It could be found in toys coming in from countries that are not as heavily regulated or older boys passed down from generation to generation. From toys to decorations, you need to beware of plants that could pose a risk. "Other plants that might have berries that might have berries on them like a holy plant or mistletoe," Livermore said. "They usually have replaced those berries with fake berries so then that becomes more like a choking hazard.”

There is something else to keep in mind especially if you have family visiting. Remind them to keep their medicine locked away in the cabinet. Often times, it can look like candy. Also, make sure to keep tobacco and vaping products away from kids. It is also a good time to check your smoke and carbon monoxide detectors to make sure they are working properly.

If you are worried about a product, there are a lot of resources out there. Check the website of the CDC or the Consumer Product Safety Commission for a list of dangerous products to keep your kids safe this holiday season.

If you have a question about a product or if your child ingests something, you should immediately contact the Poison Center at 1-800-222-1212.

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