Raising Healthy Kids: Holiday hazards

In this week's edition of Raising Healthy Kids, Erin O'Hearn has some important reminders on holiday hazards.

Whether it's Christmas, Hanukkah, or Kwanzaa, the holidays bring a welcome change from the daily routine.

But that can also open the door for accidents involving kids.

Dr. Fred Henretig, a Children's Hospital poison expert and grandfather, says if you haven't had toddlers around in a long time, it's time for a safety check.

"In studies after studies, when children visit a grandparent's home, they have one of the highest risks of getting poisoned," said Dr. Henretig.

It's especially true for children from 1 to 4 years of age, who are drawn to bright or new things, and explore their world through tasting.

"You can't teach them to avoid that. It doesn't register. It's part of their natural instinct," added Dr. Henretig.

If you take medications, keep them in child-resistant bottles, out of reach, and out of sight.

And never leave alcohol, even little bits left, in a glass unattended.

Even one adult-sized drink can make a child critically ill.

Button-batteries, like those in remote controls, small electronics, and car key fobs are potentially deadly, if swallowed.

Dr. Henretig added, "Especially the ones about the size of a nickel or bigger. They tend to be so-called lithium ion batteries, and they have a higher voltage."

A child who's swallowed one may have chest discomfort, difficulty swallowing, drooling, coughing, or vomiting.

Dr. Henretig says laundry detergent pods are causing just as much concern at poison control centers.

Kids think they are candy, but they are causing dire injuries.

"Including respiratory depression, and coma, and needing to be on a ventilator in an ICU," says Dr. Henretig.

And, keep the poison center hotline number - 1-800-222-1222 - near every phone.

It works around the clock, and everywhere in the U.S.