Registered nurse Joan McVoy says the number of accidental poisonings involving children typically rises during the holiday season.
“When you have your holiday visitors come in, make sure they’re storing their medications up, out of reach, out of sight, so small children don’t get into them, teenagers don’t get into them,” McVoy says. “That’s the thing that we get, most of our calls are going to be medications.” Another potential problem at this time of year is those tiny, button-sized disc batteries.
“You’ll find them in remotes, the Christmas greeting cards that play music, watches, toys and games,” McVoy says. “Amazingly, even though we talk about this every year, last year, over 2,000 kids swallowed disc batteries and that was a 14% increase nationally.” There will be celebrating the season with alcohol in many Iowa households, especially for New Year’s Eve, which can also pose a threat.
“After the party, what happens is a lot of times we get calls here, the parents were tired in the evening and just go to bed and when the kids come down in the morning, they’re hungry and they’re looking at all of the empty drink glasses sitting around and they’ll get into the drinks,” McVoy says, “and then we’ll get a call from a parent.”
Should you need to make the call to the Sioux City-based hotline, it’s staffed around-the-clock at 800-222-1222.
(Thanks to Karla James, Omaha)