Lisa Jackson is a pretty cautious parent, but even she discovered how the holidays can lead to some surprising dangers for small children when her 14-month-old daughter was playing with a green jingle bell.
After little Andi, the youngest of four girls, showed up with the jingle bell on her finger, "We all laughed for a second, because she is the mischievous one," Lisa told NBC News.
But she soon realized this was no laughing matter: the bell wouldn't budge and was firmly locked around their daughter's index finger. They tried baby oil, but it wouldn't slide off.
When the finger began bleeding, they rushed to a local emergency room. There, the doctor said something shocking.
"She said, 'I'm not touching this. I've never seen anything like this,'" Lisa recalled.
They ended up taking Andi to St. Louis Children's Hospital, where their screaming baby wouldn't be calmed, even with local anesthesia. Doctors were concerned they'd have to amputate the little girl's finger.
Emergencies like this one might seems like one in a million, but doctors at Children's Hospital said they see all sorts of injuries around the holidays.
"Small items in gifts or ornaments, things that go on the outside of a package that a child can pull at, that can always be a problem," Dr. Brad Warner told NBC News. Some of the most common holiday injuries among children include swallowed toy batteries and magnets, but there are dangers all over a decorated home. In fact, just this holiday season, a mom sent a Facebook post warning against weighted stocking holders after one fell down on her son, causing him to lose an eye.
Thankfully for Andi, doctors were able to use "high-tech needle nose pliers" to remove the bell and save her finger.
It's a reminder to Lisa just how vigilant parents need to be around the holidays: "We consider ourselves pretty safe. We have our gates up, we babyproof everything and . . . it's a jingle bell. It's decorative, it's cute, it makes a sound. We didn't think anything of it."