Electronics are getting slimmer and smaller which means button batteries are being used more and more. You can find them in a ton of different items like remote controls, watches, key fobs, hearing aids, digital scales, thermometers, calculators, and even musical greeting cards. Little kids love to explore, and these batteries are extremely dangerous to them.
The Dangers of Button Batteries
Each year, Emergency Rooms treat more than 2,800 kids that have swallowed button batteries. The numbers are growing, as are the number of serious injuries and deaths caused by button batteries. If a child swallows batteries, they can burn through their esophagus in as little as two hours. This leads to surgery and a very long recovery along with the possibility of death.
The nickel-sized batteries which are 3-volt lithium coin cells are even more dangerous as they are large enough to get stuck. They also burn faster.
Safety and Precaution
Any items containing lithium button batteries should be treated just as you do poison. Keep these items out of reach of children at all times. For items such as remotes that kept out for convenience, place duct tape over the controller to prevent children from gaining access to the battery.
Do not insert or change one of these batteries in view of your children. Never allow your child to play with items that contain the batteries – even if you don’t think they can access the battery. Store the batteries in a safe place, away from children – preferably in a locked cabinet.
Inform older children and other household members of the dangers and instruct them to never leave their items in reach of younger siblings such as key fobs, handheld video games, calculators, or toys.
What to Do if Your Child Swallows One
If you suspect your child may have swallowed one of these batteries – go to the hospital immediately. Do not try to induce vomiting and do not let your child eat or drink until they have been seen by a doctor. There is also a National Battery Ingestion Hotline. Add this to the list of emergency numbers you keep in your home and on your phone. The number is 1-800-498-8666.