Child Car Seat Safety (Infographic)

How long should an infant be in a rear-facing car seat? If you said “1 year”, you’re “legally” correct but if you’re really concerned about the safety of your child it might pay to have a look at the graphic below. Truth is that your child should stay rear-facing as long as possible, up to 3 or 4 years of age.


Button Battery Safety Awareness

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.

o Check:

  • remote controls
  • garage door openers
  • keyless entry fobs
  • bathroom scales
  • parking transponders
  • toys
  • cameras
  • watches
  • PDAs
  • calculators
  • digital thermometers
  • hearing aids
  • singing greeting cards
  • talking books
  • portable stereos
  • handheld video games
  • cell phones
  • home medical equipment/meters
  • flash and pen lights
  • flashing shoes
  • toothbrushes, bedwetting monitors
  • key chains
  • flashing or lighted jewelry or attire
  • any household item that is powered!
  • 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.

If a Battery is Swallowed or Placed in the Ear or Nose:

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

Car Seat Safety Lewis Story

This weekend I got a message from my WordPress blog letting me know that someone had posted a comment on one of my posts. The title made me think that it was spam, having nothing to do with the post in question. Before I flagged it as spam, however, I clicked on the link that it referred to. In spite of the fact that it was posted as a comment under a post that was totally unrelated to carseats and in spite of the fact that I normally try to keep this blog focused more on workplace safety, after watching this short video, I felt that the message that it was trying to communicate is much too serious to not pass along.

So here it is:

Please take the time to click on the above link and view the video. Anyone who’s got kids, grandkids, nephews, niece or who has friends who do (can’t think of anyone this wouldn’t apply to except that hermit living on the top of the mountain in Tibet) needs to hear this.


Infant Car Seat Expiration

This falls a little outside of my usual post as it doesn’t directly refer to workplace safety but I came across this information this past weekend and figured it was just to important not to past along on a safety related blog.

I just became a grandpa for the first time 6 months ago. My daughter has lots of friends and relations that love to spoil their new daughter so she got a couple of new car seats (one for her car and one for her husbands’ car). If, however, someone had given her a used car seat or if I’d seen on at a garage sale, I would never have thought to look for an expiration date on it.

Did you know that car seats have an expiration date? I didn’t! I just did a quick poll here at work and not one person here knew it either!

Look for the expiration date on the bottom of the car seat. The polymers that the car seat are made of can degrade over time, especially in a hot car. Kids outgrow car seats fairly rapidly but parents tend to pass them along to others who are expecting or donate them to the goodwill or sell them in garage sales.

If you can’t find an expiration date, you probably should take the chance as only the older models do not have the expiration date. Without an expiration date, the general rule is that the life expectancy of a car seat is six years.

The other thing to keep in mind is that any car seat that has been involved in an auto accident, no matter how small, should be retired. Damages might not be immediately visible.

Not sure if your car seat is safe? Take it to your local fire station and they will be glad to let you know.