The holiday season is approaching and we want it to be a safe and happy time for you. During the holidays we all enjoy exchanging gifts, family gatherings, decorating our homes among many other special moments. To be sure you keep your children safe this holiday season we remind you to pay attention to all kinds of common household items and toys that use small batteries. They can be found in items such as clocks, toys, hearing aids, cameras, watches, remote controls, musical greeting cards, calculators, portable electronics and other everyday items. Because these batteries are very small, a young child can easily swallow one without their parent realizing until much later. These ingestions can have serious outcomes.
Lost batteries that are swallowed pass through the body without harm. However, batteries that become stuck in the esophagus (the tube between the throat and stomach) may result in severe injury. When a battery is stuck in the esophagus, it can cause severe burns or damage to tissue around the area where the battery is. If you think your child has swallowed a battery, call the poison center at 1.800.222.1222 and then take your child to the nearest hospital right away. The poison center will work with the hospital to give them recommendations on how to manage the battery ingestion. Quick action can prevent a serious injury and may save a life.
Children most often get hold of button batteries by removing them from a toy or household item.
Tips for preventing battery ingestions:
- check and secure (tape) all battery compartments on toys and household items regularly.
- store batteries out of reach and sight.
- do not leave batteries lying around on tables, desks, counters.
- never allow children to play with batteries.
- do not put loose batteries in your purse, pockets, etc. where they can fall out or be found by a young child.
On a related safety issue regarding batteries, remember to change smoke and carbon monoxide alarm batteries each year. It is a good habit to put fresh batteries in smoke and CO detectors when Daylight Savings Time ends in the Fall.