Health officials warn community of holiday hazards

MUSC says water beads are high on their radar this holiday season.
MUSC says water beads are high on their radar this holiday season.(Live 5)
Published: Dec. 21, 2022 at 4:21 AM EST
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CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCSC) - Christmas is right around the corner and while opening gifts and visiting with family is exciting there are some holiday hazards to be aware of.

Mary Beth Vassy, with the Medical University of South Carolina, says water beads are high on their radar this year because when kids swallow them it can cause serious health issues and lead to hospitalization.

If you look at the labels on a given toy, you’ll often see there will be an age recommendation.

Vassy says these age ranges have been studied to best protect children from having access to small pieces or batteries that if ingested can cause an intestinal blockage leading to a hospital visit.

This is one of the leading emergency room visits around the holidays, but it can be prevented with extensive supervision.

“All it takes is you looking down at your phone, or you are looking away to see what the dogs are barking at for a child to ride their bike out into the street, or for a child to grab a piece of a toy that was broken off and swallow it,” Vassy says.

For adults, holiday hazards look a bit different. Vassy says it’s easy to get distracted near a hot pot of water or oil for example when kids are running around, and music is playing. So, it’s best to limit all distractions in the kitchen, keep away from fireplaces, and be careful where you place an open flame.

MUSC officials want to remind families to be mindful this holiday season because accidents can happen in the blink of an eye.