Button Battery Safety Awareness
Children’s emergency room visits related to swallowed batteries have risen an astounding 113 percent over the past 20 years, with a child under age 18 arriving at an ER every 90 minutes.
Button batteries are dangerous to kids and adults, especially toddlers, and cause severe injuries when swallowed.
- The coin-sized batteries children swallow come from many devices, most often mini remote controls. Other places you may them are: singing greeting cards, watches, bathroom scales, and flameless candles.
- It takes as little as two hours to cause severe burns once a coin-sized lithium battery has been s wallowed.
- Once burning begins, damage can continue even after the battery is removed.
- Kids can still breathe with the coin lithium battery in their throat. It may not be obvious at first that something is wrong.
- Repairing the damage is painful and can require multiple surgeries.
- The batteries can become lodged in the throat, burning the esophagus.
- In 2011 alone, more than 3,400 swallowing cases were reported in the U.S. 19 children sustained life-threatening or debilitating injuries and others died!
- Never leave batteries sitting out. Store spare batteries, and batteries to be recycled, out of sight and reach of young children. If recycling is not possible, wrap used batteries securely and discard them where a child can’t find them.
- Check all household devices to be certain the battery compartment is secured shut. Use strong tape to secure compartments that children can open or that might pop open if the device is dropped. Only purchase products that require a screwdriver or tool to open the battery compartment, or that are closed with a child-resistant locking mechanism. Batteries are everywhere.
- Be especially cautious with any product that contains a battery that is as big as a penny or larger.
- The 20 mm diameter lithium cell is one of the most serious problems when swallowed.
- These problem cells can be recognized by their imprint (engraved numbers and letters) and often have one of these 3 codes: CR2032, CR2025, CR2016.
- If swallowed and not removed promptly, these larger button batteries can cause death — or burn a hole through your child’s esophagus.
Don’t allow children to play with batteries or with battery powered products that have easily accessible batteries. Make sure all hearing aids for children have child-resistant battery compartments and make sure the lock is activated when the child is wearing the aid. Alert family members who wear hearing aids to the importance of keeping the batteries out of reach of small children at all times. That can be quite a burden since most hearing aid users remove the batteries from the aids each time they take the aids off. Don’t insert or change batteries in front of small children. Tips for Protecting Older Children and Adults:
· Never put batteries in your mouth, to test, to hold, or for any reason. They are slippery and easily swallowed.
· Don’t mistake batteries for pills. Don’t store batteries near pills or in pill bottles. Don’t leave them on bedside tables or place them loose in your pocket or purse. Look at every medicine you intend to swallow. Turn on the lights, put on your glasses, read the label and look at the medicine itself.
If you use a hearing aid, these steps are especially important. All too often, the tiny hearing aid batteries are ingested with or instead of medications.
· Avoid storing or leaving batteries where they might be mistaken for, or swallowed with, food.
Don’t leave batteries in drinking glasses or adjacent to nuts, candy, popcorn or other finger foods.
Top Tips for Battery Safety
- SEARCH your home, and any place your child goes, for gadgets that may contain coin lithium batteries.
- SECURE coin lithium battery-controlled devices out of sight and reach of children and keep loose batteries locked away.
- SHARE this life-saving information with caregivers, friends, family members and sitters.
Keeping these batteries out of reach and secured in devices is key, but if a child swallows a battery, parents and caregivers should follow these steps:
- Go to the emergency room immediately. Tell doctors and nurses that your child may have swallowed a battery. If possible, provide the medical team with the identification number found on the battery’s package.
- Do not let the child eat or drink until a chest x-ray can determine if a battery is present.
- Do not induce vomiting.
Call the National Battery Ingestion Hotline at 1-202-625-3333 for additional treatment information. Prompt action is critical. Don’t wait for symptoms to develop. If the battery was swallowed, don’t eat or drink until an x-ray shows the battery is beyond the esophagus. Batteries stuck in the esophagus must be removed as quickly as possible as severe damage can occur in just 2 hours. Batteries in the nose or ear also must be removed immediately to avoid permanent damage.
Electronic devices are part of daily life. It only takes a second for your toddler, child or even an adult to get hold of one and put in his mouth. Here are a few easy tips for you to follow to protect your kids from button battery-related injuries.
Safety First, Safety Always!
Information from Consumer Product Safety Commission and National Battery Hotline.
Today’s post comes to us courtesy of Ken Oswald, Safety and Security for Plateau