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Vidyya, from the Sanskrit "vaidya," a practitioner who has come to understand the science of life.

Volume 1 Published - 14:00 UTC    08:00 EST    24-December-2000      
Issue 255 Next Update - 14:00 UTC 08:00 EST    25-December-2000      

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Back To Vidyya Christmas Hazards:

Potential Pitfalls Of The Merry Holiday


Product Ingredients Hazard
Artificial Christmas Tree Aluminum, plastic Mechanical obstruction, mucous membrane irritation
Christmas Tree Decoration

  Angel hair Spun glass Considered nontoxic in small amounts but may be irritating to mucous membranes
  Icicles or tinsel Polyvinyl chloride (metalized) aluminum coloring, some may be tin, lead, and plastic Nontoxic but possibly may cause mechanical obstruction
  Glitter or sparkle Small pieces of plastic or glass Nontoxic
  Christmas tree ornaments Metal, plastic, wood, glass Nontoxic, but may cause lacerations
  Christmas tree lights Glass Nontoxic, but may cause lacerations
  Christmas tree bubble lights Methylene chloride Toxicity unlikely if small amount ingested
  Christmas tree hook hanger Metal Possibility for choking, if lodged in throat or esophagus
  Homemade Christmas ornaments Shellac, paint polyurethane spray Small amounts are not a problem.
  Snow spray/snow flock Propellant--methylene chloride Dry snow--nontoxic prolonged inhalation of spray--dizziness and headache may occur
Under the Christmas Tree

  Crayons Wax Nontoxic
  Candles Wax Nontoxic
  Snow scene globes Plastic or calcium carbonate Potential for salmonella enteritis if water is not sterile.
    After shave, perfume, toilet water, colognes Can be up to 90% ethanol Doubtful will see symptoms from this exposure as children typically do not ingest more than a swallow of these products. If large ingestion does occur, may see drowsiness, ataxia, and hypoglycemia.
  Sachets Talc powder & essential oils Small amounts not serious. May cause respiratory irritation or obstruction from powder.
  Airplane glue Toluene, benzene, zylene Mucous membrane irritation. Inhalation can produce headache, dizziness, excitement.
  Disc battery Various heavy metals, alkaline corrosive If lodged in the gastrointestinal tract can cause erosion. Location by x-ray is needed with follow-up to ensure passage.
  Battery Acid or alkaline corrosive Mucous membrane irritation or burns.
  Bubble bath soaps Detergent Vomiting
  Silly putty Silicones, glycerin, borates Small amounts not serious. Mechanical obstruction may occur with large amounts.
Gift Wrapping

  Ribbon and wrapping paper
Nontoxic
  Scotch tape
Nontoxic, possibility of obstruction
  Ballpoint pens, felt tip pens
Not serious in small amounts
  Watercolor paints
Nontoxic
Others

  Fireplace colors Salt of metals such as copper, selenium & lead Gastrointestinal irritation. Treatment will depend on amount and type of salt ingested.
  Fireplace ashes
Nontoxic
  Matches Chlorates 20 wooden matches (not fireplace matches) or two books of paper matches not serious
  Salt to melt ice Sodium chloride Hypernatremia

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Editor: Susan K. Boyer, RN
Editor: Susan K. Boyer, RN
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