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              Holiday Poison Safety Reminders

Holidays are a time for joy, but it is important to take precautions for a safe and poison-free season. The West Virginia Poison Center offers these safety recommendations.

Button batteries

Disc, button, or coin batteries can be found in many items, such as toys, musical cards and books, remote controls, and ornaments. These batteries are extremely dangerous and can cause severe injury or death if swallowed. Make sure all items that children play with have secured battery compartments, such as a battery area that requires a screwdriver to open. Keep all products containing accessible batteries up and away from children and pets.

Small magnets

Some toys and novelty items (such as magnetic building sets, magnetic tiles, and magnetic sculptures) contain small, powerful magnets that can cause serious injury if swallowed. Avoid purchasing toys or desk accessories with magnets if there are young children in the home.

Water absorbing balls or beads

Becoming popular in the last several years are toys that absorb water and expand, such as water absorbing balls or beads. Most of these items are colorful and intriguing to children. These items can become dangerous if a child or pet ingests them. Avoid purchasing beads or balls that expand to larger than pea size. Keep unexpanded beads up and out of reach of small children.  

Save the West Virginia Poison Center number—1-800-222-1222.

Call the medical experts at the West Virginia Poison Center 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year, even during the holidays, if a potential poisoning occurs. Do not wait for symptoms to appear.





"The hotline is being provided through a long-standing emergency predparedness partnership between DHHR's Bureau for Public Health and the West Virginia Poison Center." 

Even though the WV Poison Center is operating the WV Coronavirus Hotline with its health care professional staff and supervised health care professional volunteers: 

The West Virginia Poison Center is dedicated to remaining available for poison questions and emergencies. Only trained Poison Specialists are answering these special calls: 


For poisoning questions or emergencies, call the WV Poison Center first. 

(If a person is having a seizure, is unconscious, or not breathing, call 911) 

There are many accidental poisonings and medication errors that can be managed at home. Home care is immediate care and avoids a trip to the hospital if this is not required. 

During the COVID-19 pandemic, limiting the strain on our health care facilities is especially important, as is limiting contact with large numbers of people.