Know the Real Holiday Dangers

Poinsettias are poisonous, right? WRONG! The popular holiday plant is not toxic to you or your pets. According to the American Association of Poison Control Centers, a study released in 2000 revealed that out of nearly 23,000 poinsettia exposures reported, there was essentially no significant toxicity of any kind. Check out what the experts at Sharecare have to say about household poisons you should avoid this holiday season, and bring back the poinsettias!

It’s silent, odorless and deadly
Known as “the silent killer,” carbon monoxide (CO) is a poisonous gas that has no color and is invisible.  CO is produced by fuel-burning appliances and equipment in our homes that use oil, natural gas, coal, wood, propane and gasoline.  With the hustle and bustle of the kitchen on a special day during the holidays, it’s easy to forget about turning off the gas stove, but one mistake could be deadly.  According to Dr. Leigh Vinocur, early symptoms of CO poisoning include flu-like symptoms such as a bad headache, dizziness and confusion, as well as shortness of breath, and higher levels of poisoning result in unconsciousness and death. Get to open air immediately if you believe you’ve been exposed to carbon monoxide.

Dangerous stocking stuffers
If a toy can pass through a toilet-paper roll, it’s a choking hazard for your children. Lead, which can be found in some toys and jewelry made in other countries, is known to be especially dangerous to babies and young children. Symptoms of lead poisoning include lack of energy, vomiting, constipation, mood changes and weight loss or stomach pain.

Beware of the turkey!
Dr. Oz
says turkeys can harbor Campylobacter jejuni, bacteria that can cause serious tummy aches. Keep that icky-sounding bacteria away from you and your family by thawing your holiday turkey in the fridge and cooking it to 165 degrees Fahrenheit.

Take our Holiday Survival Guide quiz for even more great advice on staying safe and keeping your cool over the holidays.

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File under: Healthy Holidays


Taylor Dahl

Taylor Dahl is the Associate Editor and Web Producer at Sharecare. Taylor has experience in digital, print and social media for companies such as Time Inc., Atlanta Metropolitan Publishing and the United States Marine Corps. Favorite exercise: dog-walking or the elliptical. Health vice: Diet Coke. Wellness goal: lose 15 pounds on the Transformation Nation program.

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