It’s that time of year for friends, family, neighbors, and coworkers to come together to celebrate the holiday season. The Washburn County Health Department wants to help you stay safe and healthy with some tips to keep in mind during the festivities.

Accidental Poisoning

Many holiday traditions are poisonous to people and pets. Holiday flowers, tinsel, batteries, chocolate, cleaning products, and alcohol can make you or your furry friends very sick. Mixing alcohol with medications can also lead to accidental poisoning.

It is especially important to remember to lock up any medications, particularly controlled substances, to prevent accidental ingestion by children or pets. Locking up medications and alcohol will also prevent any potential theft.

If you suspect poisoning, immediately call the Wisconsin Poison Control Hotline at 1-800-222-1222.

Carbon Monoxide Poisoning

As you’re preparing to host a holiday bash, make sure that you have working carbon monoxide detectors on each level of your house. It looks like this snow is sticking around, so be sure that exhaust vents are not being blocked and CO is able to exit your house. If ice fishing is on the agenda, make sure you are not using fuel burning generators in the ice shack and be sure that there is good ventilation. Symptoms of CO poisoning include headache, fatigue, dizziness, shortness of breath, nausea, and confusion. Severe CO poisoning can lead to death in minutes.

If you think you may be experiencing carbon monoxide poisoning, or your detector sounds an alarm, head outside immediately for fresh air and call 911.

Animal Bites

While you may enjoy filling your home with guests, your pets may not be as thrilled. Keep your guests and your pets safe by putting your pet in its crate or in a room away from company, particularly if the animal is not used to being around anyone but family. Keep your pet on a leash if you will be taking it out and about and watch for signs that it may be feeling frightened, protective, or aggressive. Remember, it’s up to you to not put your pet in a situation where it feels it must bite to protect you or itself.

Animals that bite must be quarantined for 10 days per state statute. To report a bite, contact the Washburn County Health Department.

For more information contact the Washburn County Health Dept. at 715-635-4400.


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