As a member of Dayton Children’s Mommy Blogger Advisory Panel, I often receive health and safety updates parents should be aware of so that I can pass along to the Biz e-Mom’s Blog readers.
Sooner rather than later, parents realize that the simplest things around the house can all of the sudden become death traps for your new adorable baby. From the window screen, to blind cords, to household chemicals, to your change drawer, all need to be “kid-proofed” within months of bringing your little one home.There’s another little known risk to small children that you should be aware of – button batteries. Each year, 3,500 button battery swallowing cases are reported to the U.S. poison control centers. Serious deaths and injuries are on the rise. Inside small electronic devices may be very powerful coin-sized button batteries. When swallowed, these batteries can get stuck in the throat and cause severe burns. What types of items contain these batteries? Check your wickless candles, bathroom scale, remote control, key fob, calculator, ear thermometer, and audio children’s books for starters. Surprisingly, these types of items are not difficult to open, so you should be aware when your child may be playing with a toy that contains a button battery.
The most serious cases involve nickel-sized 20 mm diameter batteries. These can get stuck in a child’s throat and burn through the esophagus in as little as two hours. Repair can require feeding and breathing tubes and multiple surgeries so prevention is very important.
Children under four years old are at the greatest risk.
Symptoms may be similar to other illnesses such as coughing, drooling and discomfort. Children can usually still breathe with the battery in their throat, making the problem difficult to spot.
There is a campaign called The Battery Controlled, supported by Energizer in partnership with Safe Kids Worldwide to alert parents of the hidden danger of swallowing coin lithium button batteries. To learn more go to www.thebatterycontrolled.com
National Battery Ingestion Hotline: 202-625-3333
Source: Data provided by Dr. Toby Litovitz and the National Capital Poison Center based on incidents reported to the U.S. Poison Centers.