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'Tis the season for accidents and health hazards

As Andy Williams crooned, "It's the most wonderful time of the year." But it's also prime time for an increase in home accidents, heart attacks and strokes - so people need to be careful.

In today's San Francisco Chronicle, writer Kathryn Roethel provides some data on the safety hazards and health concerns common to the month of December. One number provided is 3,471, which is how many children accidentally swallowed lithium button batteries in 2011. Peter Koltai, MD, chief of the Division of Pediatric Otolaryngology at Lucile Packard Children's Hospital, is quoted as saying parents should be "especially vigilant" during the holdiays, since these batteries are commonly found in electronic toys, games and musical greeting cards.

Previously: Protecting your heart in the winter weather
Photo by James Bowe

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