Spectacularly real, if you’re a little kid. Neurotoxicity and neural development don’t mix, yo. A live tree might be more expensive, messier, and require watering, but the most you’re going to have to worry about health-wise is maybe being allergic to it.
A 2 year-old got a plastic Christmas tree decoration stuck in his throat. Okay, I can see that. Now for the incredible part: “The family remembered the decoration from Christmas celebrations 2 years prior [to it’s identification and removal].”
In other news, they have a disease called Bird Fancier’s Lung. Or, as my good friend Frat Boy Steve calls it, That Gay Ass Bird Disease.
People have two phrenic nerves, which provide sensory information to the brain regarding the goings on in the chest and abdomen, as well as motor output to the diaphragm that causes it to contract. Contraction of the diaphragm is kind of necessary for breathing. This guy only damaged one of his phrenic nerves, so he was still able to breathe.
Brazier DJ. Eye damage from Christmas trees. Lancet. 1984 Dec 8;2(8415):1335.
Sadly, there is no abstract available, but allow me to speculate. Poorly executed present grabbing, overeager ornament hanging, or too much eggnog.