When people think about poisonous perils in Arizona, they may think of famous desert creatures like rattlesnakes or Gila monsters, but experts say there are much more common dangers closer to home.

They want to raise awareness about this topic, especially since many people will be attending gatherings for the holidays.

Liz Barta is a poison education specialist at the Arizona Poison and Drug Information Center in Tucson, one of two in our state.

She says contrary to popular belief, poinsettia plants are not poisonous although they can irritate the mouth, throat or other body parts.

However, other common plants that are used for decorations can have more dangerous qualities.

"Holly and mistletoe berries, yes. Definitely they are poisonous or toxic and also choking hazards which of course eating leaves from a poinsettia can be a choking hazard, definitely," Barta says.

But the biggest danger is typically inside the medicine cabinet.

"Prescription meds, over the counter medications. People don't read the labels, they don’t understand that they can't mix certain medications," Barta adds.

"They take more than they are supposed to and so it's a leading cause of death in the United States. It outranks right now, road traffic accident deaths."

Other common dangers, especially during the holidays, include small magnets and batteries from toys or other devices which children can swallow.

Experts say if you have any questions or want more information, you can call the Arizona Poison and Drug Information Center at 1-800-222-1222.