The plants you display are poisonousJet Cat Studio/Shutterstock
Contrary to popular belief, poinsettias probably aren’t toxic. One review in the Western Journal of Emergency Medicine found that only about 3 percent of children who eat it will develop any symptoms, and even animals are unlikely to have any health effects. Your bigger concern should be holly. The berries look innocent enough to kids, but just five berries could lead to vomiting and abdominal cramping in children because they contain compounds called saponin. (Don’t miss these other 18 holiday decorating mistakes you didn’t know you were making.) Bittersweet and Jerusalem cherry fruits can also cause GI issues and might even be fatal to kids. “You can’t be too careful when displaying flowers and plants of any kind, because they pose choking risks,” says child safety expert Debra Holtzman, author of The Safe Baby. “Watch out for fallen berries.” Here are 8 more festive Christmas flowers to give if you’re tired of poinsettias.
You never checked your string light packageMagdalena Kucova/Shutterstock
Holiday lights and other decorative lighting cause an average of 150 fires every year, according to the Electrical Safety Foundation International. No need to fear your string lights, as long as you take the proper precautions. “When you use electric lights, only use ones recognized for safety,” says Holtzman. Make sure your lights have the UL Listing Mark, which means third-party engineers gave it the stamp of approval for risk of fire, electric shock, and other dangers. The label can also tell you if those lights are safe to use outside. A green UL label means it can only be used indoors, but a red one is a sign that you can hang them outdoors, too. Don’t miss these other 10 things you didn’t realize were fire hazards.