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UVA Poison Center Warns Parents of Toxic Items During Holidays

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University of Virginia School of Medicine (Photo courtesy of www.medicine.virginia.edu) University of Virginia School of Medicine (Photo courtesy of www.medicine.virginia.edu)
Poinsettias at American Color Inc. Poinsettias at American Color Inc.
CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (WVIR) -

The poison center at the University of Virginia is warning parents about dangerous items their children may come into contact with during the holidays.

Most commonly, families call in to the center saying their child has swallowed a poinsettia plant which poses a choking hazard, or holly berries which are poisonous but typically treatable and usually doesn't require medical attention.

However, doctors at the Blue Ridge Poison Center in the UVA School of Medicine are warning parents about small, disk-shaped batteries that can really harm kids.

Each year, mostly during the holidays, they see around 30 patients who have swallowed one of these.

“It causes a burn on the inside,” says Dr. Nathan Charlton, medical toxicologist at Blue Ridge Poison Center. “It can eventually be a surgical issue. So it's important to get to the hospital where an X-ray can be obtained."

The poison center is a free service, open 24 hours a day, seven days a week. The number is 1-800-222-1222.