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Don’t let these holiday hazards ruin your celebration

10 Tampa Bay talked to the experts at the Florida Poison Information Center about some potential holiday hazards.

TAMPA, Fla. — We want you to have a safe and happy holiday season. 

So, 10 Tampa Bay talked to the experts at the Florida Poison Information Center about some potential holiday hazards to watch out for – especially if you’re spending time with kids.

The first hazard we’re highlighting: Edible cannabis products. 

Morgan McCoy learned that firsthand when her 6-year-old found a bag of Delta 8 THC left by a neighbor. 

“I had a mom come out and say, ‘We think your daughter may have eaten a gummy.' And I went in and my daughter was non-responsive. She was very -- she was like a rag doll, basically,” said McCoy. 

Keep those items up and away from kids. 

You want to have a plan for where you and your guests are putting medications. 

“Guests go into your house. They go into your guest room. They take out their medications and set it up on a counter and it’s left not secured,” said Florida Poison Information Center Media Relations and Education Coordinator Mike McCormick. “When guests come into your home, make sure you’re talking to them about how they are securing their medication. You may have a good medication safety protocol in your house, but when your guests come, they probably do not.” 

Another big one to watch out for: Button batteries can be dangerous right away if a kid swallows them. 

Credit: 10 Tampa Bay
Small batteries are shown in the back of a toy.

“They come in lots of different things, whether it’s key fobs, remote controls. But we start pulling out ornaments that have them in them, and then greeting cards come with them right now. And those batteries are not secured inside — especially, greeting cards,” said McCormick. 

If you’re going to a holiday party, keep an eye on your food and drinks. 

Don’t leave alcohol unattended; it can cause blood pressure issues very quickly in young kids.   

And keep in mind that bacteria that cause foodborne illness can start growing in as little as two hours. 

“And kind of the rule on that is: Cold things need to stay under 40 degrees in temperature and hot things need to stay above 140 —  and definitely not be out for more than two hours,” McCormick said. 

The most important step you can take right now is to save the Florida Poison Information Center’s number in your phone: 1-800-222-1222. 

That number connects you to a toxicologist fast, free, and confidentially. The service is available 24 hours a day, every day of the year. 

Earlier this month, our Verify team debunked the rumor that poinsettias are deadly if eaten by pets. 

The American Veterinary Medical Association says these popular holiday plants will not kill your pets but could cause an upset stomach. So, it’s not a bad idea to keep them out of reach of curious cats and dogs.

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