Yes Virginia, those decorations are dangerous

Part of what makes the holidays special are all the decorations and treats we indulge in this time of year. But some of those holiday traditions can be risky for kids and pets. Here are some watch-out areas:
  • Heavy weighted stocking hangers (the kind you set on top of a mantle) may be pulled down, causing a concussion or broken toes. 
  • Christmas trees are an attractive climbing gym for cats. Make sure it’s well anchored so it can’t tip. 
  • Classic ball ornaments may look like toys to dogs and kids alike, but they’ll shatter into dangerous shards if thrown or bitten. 
  • Shiny, dangling tinsel is an alluring plaything to cats. But if kitty ingests some, the stringy material may get tangled in her digestive tract. 
  • Seasonal plants like holly, mistletoe, and cyclamen can cause vomiting and diarrhea in pets. What’s more, lilies are highly toxic to cats and can produce kidney failure, even in small doses.
  • Candles represent a clear fire hazard, particularly when curious kids or animals are nearby. Fake “flameless” versions provide safer ambience. 
  • You’re probably already aware that chocolate is toxic to dogs, but did you know that even small amounts of xylitol will trigger seizures or liver failure in your pup? Xylitol is commonly found in sugar-free gum and breath mints as well as diabetic-friendly baked goods. 
Other common holiday dangers: toothpicks in your hors d’oeuvres, chewed holiday light strands, and button batteries, which can burn holes in a child’s or pet’s digestive tract.

Decorate with your kids and furry friends in mind. And be sure to supervise curious pets during holiday parties, lest they drag something hazardous out of the garbage or a visitor’s purse! Take a few simple precautions and ensure this is a season of good cheer.

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