Holiday Safety Tips from PSA

Most of us know the typical safety information that keeps us out of trouble during the holidays, but there are many unusual hazards surgeons fix during December and January. From internal “battery burns” to thumbtack inhalation, we pediatric surgeons have seen it all.

Read the dangers below and be mindful this holiday season! If something does go wrong, the doctors of Pediatric Surgical Associates are on-call 24/7 and always available, even on Christmas Eve/Day and New Year’s Eve/Day.

  1. Inhaling thumbtacks.  When hanging garland or stockings, you might put a thumbtack in your mouth if you don’t have a free hand.  When children imitate or offer to help, they can forget and sneeze or “breathe in,” lodging the tack in their windpipes.
  2. Small, round party food.  Popcorn and peanuts are a favorite snack for holiday parties.  If little ones are around, keep a sharp eye out for what your children are eating.  Anything that is small and round can be a choking hazard for children under four.
  3. Toys with magnets.  Magnetic letters and numbers are great learning gifts to give.  However, if children mouth their toys, they can dislodge the magnets and swallow them.  Once ingested, magnets still attract one another.  If they end up in the wrong spot, they can connect and pinch whatever is in the middle, causing tissue damage.
  4. Toys with batteries.  Any toy that contains a small disc “watch-style” battery can be a hazard, if the battery is ingested.  If these batteries leak, they can cause chemical burns internally that can only be repaired with surgery.
  5. Poisonous plants. Did you know that holly, mistletoe and poinsettias can be poisonous for pets and small children? Though perfectly pretty, keep live greenery out of reach!
  6. Hair tourniquets on toes. During cold weather, babies and young children can get hair or loose thread from inside their socks wound around their toes. If unnoticed and left for several hours, it can cut off circulation to the toe!

If Pediatric Surgical Associates doesn’t see you, which is a good thing, have a safe and happy holiday season!