It’s hidden there, deep inside your child’s mile-long wish list for the holidays – a button battery that powers one of the toys they really want, like digital watches, robots, remote control devices and potentially other types of electronics. A button battery can also be present in devices that are the farthest things from toys, such as your car’s keyless remote door opener. So why would we need to be so concerned and aware of button battery safety? Because babies and toddlers are susceptible to ingesting the small batteries out of curiosity. In fact, thousands of young children are seriously injured or even experience fatalities over swallowing button batteries.
How do you hopefully prevent your child from becoming the next victim with steps to ensure button battery safety? Read on.
Set Yourself In Full Prevention Mode
Your children have enough toys that require batteries. Now is a great time to take inventory of what toys they do have in-house that may have the tiny, coin-sized button batteries. How easy is it to open the battery door and take out the button battery? Don’t forget – the smallest children can be relentlessly focused on things that have nothing to do with what they should actually play with and a battery door would qualify. Then, when they see a small battery, they’ll want to get a closer look. If any toys do have it, you may want to try putting it aside until they’re several years older. Likewise, as you go through a holiday wish list, see what kind of batteries their electronic toy would require – the bigger, the better obviously.
Let’s say one of your older children or a friend of theirs brings over a remote-control car and puts the controller down for 30 minutes while they go play somewhere else. Here is another hazard that entered the picture, even if you’ve taken precautions to keep many devices out of the child’s reach. You can educate your other children on these types of batteries so they can keep a watchful eye out for their smaller siblings but you’d better make sure you’re fully monitoring what they play with and where your youngest child is so they don’t accidentally become explorers where they shouldn’t be.
Next, you want to scour the home for your “toys” – equipment that requires button batteries because young children practically see no difference between true toys and the toys they know they shouldn’t have but are curious about anyway. These devices should be kept on high shelves, well out of the reach of small children.
If Button Batteries Are Ingested
It’s easy to panic but what your child needs right now is calm, determined and focused action. It’s entirely possible that the button battery will be eliminated later on but we can’t rely on that possibility either. Some button batteries get lodged in your child’s esophagus, which can cause tissue damage from the alkaline chemical in the battery – but there are also instances of children putting these types of batteries in their noses or ears. This is where things get very problematic and dangerous for children.
Of course, you can’t wait to know whether the button battery is lodged or will hopefully “pass through”/ be removed with help. Now is the time to make your way to your phone as quickly as possible and call 800.498.8666. This is the National Battery Ingestion Hotline and they can help you through the essential steps to take next.
For one thing, get the package that the button battery came in if you still have it or an identical battery that was bought at the exact same time – you will need to provide the battery identification number.
Do NOT have the young child try to eat or drink anything. They may already be running a fever, experiencing abdominal pain or vomiting as it is.
Get medical attention as soon as possible.
The hotline can be immensely helpful but you still should get your child to the hospital so that doctors can take action. Do not try to resolve the issue on your own or hope it goes away. Always err on the side of being vigilant and urgent.
Anything else we need to remember? Yes. The people who watch your child when you’re not there, such as a nanny, babysitter, grandparents, etc. need to be aware of what to look for in the name of button battery safety and what to do in the event of a button battery ingestion.
If you worry about the event of your infant or toddler experiencing choking or requiring CPR or first aid, SOS Technologies has just the class for you and the rest of the parents of young children on your team. Show them your culture cares about employees first by bringing our safety consultants on site to teach them about the essentials of child safety, including button battery safety. It will be full of useful, practical information they’ll be very thankful to know, with a household that includes some very curious children that seem to get into, well, everything. To schedule your training class at your workplace with SOS, give us a call today at 888.705.6100.