‘Tis the season to be jolly,
but please don’t let children near the holly,
Jerusalem cherry or mistletoe.
How toxic are they, call to know.
Keep plants like these up high and clear
of the little fingers you hold so dear.
Children are curious and full of such glee,
so be careful of what hangs or is under the tree.
Batteries and magnets from toys may get free,
and hang out unnoticed under your tree.
Your home, which is safe all through the year,
can be filled with poisons, including holiday beer.
After parties are over, and before you retire for the night,
put alcohol, cigarettes and leftovers far out of sight.
Watch out for the lead that may come in some toys.
Visit CPSC.gov for recalls to protect girls & boys.
Some ornaments too may contain traces of lead,
so keep out of reach well above little ones’ heads.
Be careful when shopping, choose wisely & smart.
A gift is so special when it comes from the heart.
A toy they may want could be unsafe & cause harm;
even some jewelry, a necklace or charm.
Watch out that your leftover food doesn’t spoil.
It may not be safe even if it does boil.
Don’t defrost your turkey in room-temperature air.
Keep it refrigerated so bacteria can’t linger there.
One final tip before you snuggle up tight
and go upstairs to shut off the light.
The dangers of carbon monoxide may be lurking about
when your house is closed tight to keep cold weather out.
You can’t see, taste or smell it, a silent killer it can be.
Make sure you have carbon monoxide alarms placed
Call the poison center, day or night we are here,
to serve, protect and inform you of poisons all year.
Be smart, careful & safe & you’ll have nothing to fear,
then you can enjoy this wonderful time of the year.
Gayle Finkelstein is Vermont Poison Prevention Educator with the Northern New England Poison Center in Community Health Improvement at the University of Vermont Medical Center.