Batteries are an essential item to keep many basic household electronics running. However, if not properly stored and used, they can present a safety hazard for children - especially tiny button batteries.
It is shocking to discover that each year, over 2,800 children are treated in emergency rooms due to battery-related accidents!
Why do button batteries present such a danger to kids?
Firstly, they are a common household object and may even be used to power childrens' toys. As a result, kids are used to seeing them and may be curious about what they are and how they work. One way that children, particularly those of toddler age, learn is by touching things and putting them in their mouth.
Once a tiny object like a coin battery is placed in a child's mouth, it is very easy for it to be swallowed and lost.
Secondly, a large increase in button battery injuries has happened due to their skyrocketing use over the past few years. With more electronics becoming smaller, their batteries must get smaller too. In addition to toys, they are used in things like key fobs, flashlights, and remote controls.
It is important that parents and caregivers familiarize themselves with what steps should be taken if a child in their care should ingest or otherwise injure themselves with a button battery.
The child should be taken to the emergency room immediately.
The child should not be allowed to eat or drink anything else, and vomiting should not be induced unless instructed by a medical professional.
Prevention is the most important thing that parents and caregivers can do to protect their children. There are some very simple steps that can be taken to keep kids away from button batteries.
Extra batteries should be stored in a safe place out of the reach of children.
Batteries should be covered with a childproof case or with a piece of tape within devices.
Once children are old enough to understand, they should be educated on how to use batteries properly.