Dr. Christina Johns: The holidays are a fantastic time of year. Good fun, good friends, good parties, lots of great times for everyone but it does put us at risk for some potentially serious holiday injuries. First, the Christmas tree, lots of decorations, beautiful ornaments, glass ornaments down here that are just begging for a toddler to come and pull them off. If they break on the floor, they could cut your skin or even worse if you pull the whole tree over, could potentially have some serious consequences. So keep your glass ornaments way up high and out of reach and remember to watch your toddler whenever you're in a party. Don't you love mistletoe? I love all of the holiday plants like holly and poinsettias. They're gorgeous but you know they can potentially be toxic. Holly berries and mistletoe, while they're tempting for kids and pets, keep them totally out of reach because they can be highly toxic. One of the mess that I want to debunk is that poinsettias are potentially very toxic. They're not poisonous plants; they can be very irritating to the stomach if they're consumed in large quantities. Who is going to do that? You never know. So what I always say is keep all of the holiday plants out of reach of kids and pets. Every year around this time I see an increase in number of patients who come to the emergency room with cuts and burns. When you're carving a holiday turkey, sometimes you cut your finger too if you are not exactly paying attention, especially when there's a huge number of people gathering in the kitchen for holiday fun and if you add alcohol to the mix, boy.
. you've really got trouble. There's nothing like a big spread of food to get the holiday party started. One thing I do need to talk about though is the importance of keeping your hot foods hot and your cold foods cold. You don't want anything to be left out for too long because you run the risk of getting food poisoning. If you wind up with food poisoning, know that there's no magic medicine to fix it. It just takes time to go away but what you can do is make sure that you're hydrating yourself really, really well. Drink lots of water or electrolyte replacement fluid and you'll feel a lot better. Speaking of the hydration, I think that we need to bring up how to handle overindulging in alcohol. It's a common thing around the holiday season and one thing that I would recommend, for every one drink of alcohol that you have, have a full glass of water in between. You will feel more full, you'll stay hydrated and you will be less likely to be regretting it in the morning. I hope that what we have talked about is going to be helpful for you in preventing some very common holiday injuries and health hazards. Have a wonderful holiday season and happy New Year.