The California Poison Control System (www.calpoison.org) has a new twist on the old “!2 Days of Christmas” song, which offers 12 things all of us can to to make our lives—before, during, and after the Holidays—safer.
I realize were a little late getting this up, but there’s no reason to skip any of these great suggestions, even if the calendar date has passed, your personal winter holiday is over, or you celebrate only Festivus,
12/14: “Poison proof” your home if you have small children or expect any to visit. 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: Prevent food poisoning. Before you prepare any food, clean all counters and cutting boards with soap and hot water, and carefuly wash your hands. After meals, refrigerate food promptly.
12/16: Keep alcohol and/or tobacco (you shouldn’t be smoking anyway) out of reach of toddlers.
12/17: if you have a Christmas tree, keep it fresh with water early on, and keep anything and everything flammable far away from the tree. Put fresh batteries in all your smoke detectors.
12/18: Never heat a home with a gas stove top or oven or use charcoal indoors—carbon monoxide can be a real holiday killer. Make sure your chimney flue is fully open before sparking up the fire in the fireplace. Keep outdoor generators away from windows and flammables away from floor furnaces.
12/19: Keep all batteries away from babies, children, and pets! Holiday gifts—especially consumer electronics—often use flat, coin-shaped batteries, which can cause serious injury or even death of swallowed.
12/20: Keep foil wrapping paper away from babies as it may contain lead. And don’t thrown the paper into the fireplace either.
12/21: Keep holiday plants, including mistletoe, poinsettias, and holly berries out of reach of kids; they 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: Find out about product recalls & tested products at www.healthystuff.org. Amazingly, you can still find lead in new and used children’s products, including toys, backpacks, lunchboxes, and jewelry.
12/24: If you’re planning to use snow spray or flock your tree indoors, be sure you keep windows wide open. Solvents in the spray cans may cause nausea, lightheadedness, and headache.
12/25—and the other 364 days per year—Keep the national 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.