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Poison proofing your home for the holidays

December 15, 2010 12:00:00 AM PST
Most people think poinsettias are poisonous, but they're not very toxic, despite that common belief.However, there are other things around the house during the holidays that can be dangerous.

The Fuller family is setting up for their favorite day, but some ornaments can be a problem.

"Some of the pigments and the paints that are used in ornaments may contain heavy metals, like lead," said Dr. Cyrus Rangan, a toxicologist.

Rangan says the most dangerous thing under the tree is toy batteries.

"They can get into the throat, get into the stomach, burn holes in the throat and stomach and that may require a visit to the emergency (room)," Morgan said.

That's a warning Elida Avina is taking note of.

"He's pretty strong for a one year old and he can take things apart," Avina, a Rancho Park resident, said about her son. "It's the putting everything in his mouth that he's into."

Some people are more reliant on the mistletoe than others, but is that need dangerous?

"As it turns out holly, poinsettia and mistletoe aren't quite as poisonous as we used to think they were," Rangan said. "It's perfectly reasonable to have them around the house, but you still want to keep them away from young children as much as you can."

The California Poison Control is encouraging people with questions to call them at (800) 222-1222.


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