Children getting alcohol poisoning from leftover drinks

Alcohol causing poisoning to small children during the holidays. UPI/Bill Greenblatt
Alcohol causing poisoning to small children during the holidays. UPI/Bill Greenblatt | License Photo

CINCINNATI, Dec. 24 (UPI) -- Ethyl alcohol found in alcoholic drinks or denatured alcohol found in perfume are causing more poisonings of children, the Cincinnati Children's Hospital says.

The Drug and Poison Information Center, a service of Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center, said during the holidays, the center receives an increased number of calls stemming from alcohol poisoning.


This is often due to adults leaving unfinished drinks lying around after holiday parties where children might find them.

Children, because of their small weight, are more likely to get alcohol poisoning than are adults. Adults are advised to make sure all alcohol is put away before going to bed at night.

The Drug and Poison Information Center also warned about the following plants and advised parents call a poison control center if a child eats any of the following plants:

-- Children who play with the leaves of the poinsettia and then rub their eyes may experience redness and irritation. Serious incidents regarding poinsettias probably do not occur due to ingestion of parts of the domestic varieties of this plant, but if pieces of this plant are swallowed, call a poison control center.


-- Certain varieties of mistletoe contain substances that, in large quantities, can affect the nervous system, blood pressure and the heart. Berries have the greatest potential for causing symptoms of poisoning, although other parts of the plant also contain toxins. Small children usually only ingest the berries in small amounts such as one or two berries, but there is no documented cause for alarm or necessity for treatment.

-- There are a least 400 different varieties of holly, but only a few varieties are reported to be poisonous. Children might also eat the leaves of holly plants. These could also contain potentially toxic chemicals.

-- Jerusalem Cheery is alleged to contains solanine, a substance found in several plants with known toxic potential, reports of toxicity are sparse, but it is unclear how many Jerusalem cherries would have to be ingested to produce symptoms.

-- Very little is known about how poisonous the cyclamen plant is to humans.

-- Salicylates in oil of wintergreen, menthol, camphor, eucalyptol and other oils and flavorings can be extremely toxic if ingested.

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