(November 20, 2023) – As families prepare to gather for Thanksgiving celebrations, the Upstate New York Poison Center is issuing a timely reminder about potential poisoning hazards associated with the holiday festivities. From food-related mishaps to unintentional exposures, the holiday season poses unique risks, and the poison center is encouraging everyone to stay informed and take precautions.

Cooking and dining during Thanksgiving can introduce various risks, including food poisoning, unintentional swallowing of harmful substances, and mishandling of household chemicals. To ensure a safe and enjoyable holiday, the Upstate New York Poison Center recommends the following precautions:

  • Food Safety: Handle and cook food with care to prevent foodborne illnesses. Thoroughly cook poultry, avoid cross-contamination, and refrigerate leftovers promptly.
  • Chemical Safety: Be cautious when using household cleaners and chemicals. Keep them out of reach of children and store them in their original containers.
  • Medication Safety: If you have guests, ensure medications are stored securely and out of reach and sight of children. Be aware of potential interactions between medications and alcohol.
  • Plants: Some decorative plants, such as boxwood and holly, can be toxic if swallowed. Keep them out of reach of children and pets.
    Carbon Monoxide: With colder weather, heating systems may be in use. Ensure proper ventilation to prevent carbon monoxide poisoning. Install and test carbon monoxide detectors.
    “The holiday season is a time for joy and celebration, but it’s essential to be mindful of potential risks that can arise, particularly during Thanksgiving. By taking simple precautions, families can enjoy a safe and memorable holiday,” says Jeanna Marraffa, clinical director for the Upstate New York Poison Center.

If you have questions about potential poisonings or have a poisoning emergency, the Upstate New York Poison Center is available 24/7 to provide expert guidance. Call 1-800-222-1222 for immediate assistance.