NM Poison & Drug Information Center

MSC 07 4390
1 University of New Mexico
Albuquerque, NM 87131

Physical Location:
UNM Business Center - 1650 University NE
Suite 4200

Phone: (505) 272-4261
Fax: (505) 272-5892

How Has the New Mexico Poison Center Helped You?

Making Cookies with Auntie

What fun it is to visit relatives and help decorate the cookies that everyone will eat on the holiday! 

Every year, our family gathers to make a lot of holiday goodies.  Last year my 9 year old niece, Anika, and I were given the task of decorating all of the cookies that were going to be eaten by the whole family.  This is a big task and one that we both took seriously.  

I let Anika choose the candies and sprinkles to complete the gingerbread cookies.  When they were all done, Anika ate 2 cookies.  

While I was arranging the cookies on the plates, I noticed that there were 6 gingerbread cookies with different decorations than I had ever seen before, so I asked Anika where she got those.  Anika showed me the small container that she found in the cabinet with the other decoration candies.  It was 2 of these cookies that Anika had eaten. 

Anika had accidentally used seeds that I had collected a few weeks earlier from a beautiful plant in my yard.  I was planning on sowing the seeds in the spring next year.  

In a panic, I called the New Mexico Poison Center right away!  The specialist, a pharmacist trained in treating poisonings, was able to help me and Anika that night.  This plant and the seeds can be very dangerous if they are eaten.  

They talked about how many seeds were eaten and how Anika was feeling, and determined that it was not necessary for Anika to go to the emergency room.  She was safely watched at home with the help of the Poison Center.   The specialist called me later that night and again the next day to check on Anika.  

When I was asked what I would have done if the Poison Center hadn't been there, I said I would have had to take Anika to the emergency room.  The nearest emergency room is many miles away from my home, and the visit would have cost several hundreds of dollars.  I am so grateful for the Poison Center and their services. 

The excitement of the holidays can be ruined by something as simple as storing seeds in a small container that looks like other candies or cookie decorations.