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Surprising Holiday Hazards

Are poinsettias poisonous? Is your Christmas tree safe? Learn how to keep your child safe this holiday season.

by: Nancy Ripton

In This Article


s parents, we don't want to make like the Grinch and steal all the Christmas cheer, but we don't want our children to get hurt during the holidays either. Unfortunately, holiday hazards can creep up where you least expect them. Here are four surprising holiday health hazards and how to protect your children from them:

1. Are poinsettias and mistletoe poisonous?

Contrary to popular belief, poinsettias aren't poisonous. So while you don't necessarily want your child to munch on a red leaf for lunch, an accidental nibble won't kill him. The same can't be said for other holiday plants. Holly, Jerusalem cherry, boxwood and various species of yew are all poisonous, so keep them out of reach. As for mistletoe, we suggest giving it a miss until your children are at least three years of age. If eaten, mistletoe can cause severe stomach cramps, diarrhea and can even be fatal. And it doesn't take much–just three mistletoe berries can be toxic to your child.

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