December 21, 2023

News Item Image

The holiday season is a time of joy, celebration and togetherness. While it brings many pleasures, it also presents unique risks, especially when it comes to potential poison hazards. As the holiday season approaches, the Iowa Poison Control Center (IPCC) wants to ensure you're aware of these risks and armed with the knowledge to prevent and respond to potential poisoning incidents.

  • Decking the Halls Safely
    As you brighten up your home with festive decorations, remember that some holiday plants can be toxic if ingested. Plants like mistletoe and poinsettias, while beautiful, can pose a risk to children and pets. If you suspect that someone has ingested a potentially harmful plant, don't hesitate to call the IPCC at 1-800-222-1222 for free advice. Our poison specialists are available 24/7 to help you navigate any potential poisoning situations.
  • Baking with Care
    Holiday baking is a favorite tradition in many households. However, remember that consuming raw dough or batter can be harmful due to the risk of salmonella from raw eggs and E. coli from raw flour. Always ensure that cookies and cakes are fully cooked before they're eaten, and be mindful of little ones who might be tempted to sneak a taste of raw dough.
  • Beware of Button Batteries
    Many of the new toys and gadgets that come with the holiday season are powered by small button batteries. If swallowed, these batteries can cause serious harm. Ensure that toys and gadgets are stored safely, and batteries are kept out of reach of children. If you suspect a child has swallowed a button battery, call the IPCC immediately.
  • Alcohol Awareness
    The holiday season often involves more alcohol in the home than usual, which can be dangerous if ingested by children. Even small amounts can be harmful, so always ensure alcoholic beverages are kept out of reach. If a child does consume alcohol, call the IPCC for immediate advice.
  • Cold Weather Complications
    With the arrival of colder weather, many households will start using antifreeze in their vehicles. Antifreeze is sweet-tasting, which can be attractive to children and pets, but it's also highly toxic. Store antifreeze and similar substances safely and out of reach. If you suspect someone has swallowed antifreeze, call the IPCC immediately.

Gifts of Knowledge and Safety

The IPCC offers free poison prevention packets, a gift of safety for the holiday season. These packets arm you with knowledge about potential poison hazards and how to prevent and respond to them. To request your free packet, visit

A Safe and Joyful Holiday Season

The IPCC is dedicated to keeping you and your loved ones safe this holiday season. If you're ever unsure about a potential poisoning risk, remember that our certified poison specialists are just a phone call away. We're here 24/7, every day of the year, ready to provide free, expert advice.

This December, let's celebrate the joy of the season while also committing to safety. By being aware of potential poison hazards and how to prevent them, we can ensure a happy and safe holiday season for all.

« Back