There is a little known threat in your home
They are small items, the size of a ten cent coin and they can cause big problems for small children. Lithium button batteries can be found in many items from remote controls and bathroom scales to singing greeting cards.
More than 100 kids worldwide have sustained severe injuries from swallowing a battery and Four children a week present to an Australian emergency department with an injury related to button batteries. Children under five years are at the greatest risk of suffering injuries related to button batteries.
The chemical reaction of the battery with saliva/gastric fluids can cause deep and extremely fast corrosion burns into soft human tissue. This can result in severe burns to the oesophagus that can leave a child unable to speak, eat and breathe unassisted.
Most childhood fatalities from battery swallowing can be traced back to remote control devices in the home. Kidsafe has this advice they want every parent to know and share with other parents:
- Examine devices and make sure the battery compartment is secure;
- Keep coin-sized button batteries and devices out of sight and out of reach of small children;
- Dispose of old button batteries immediately;
- If swallowing of a button battery is suspected, go to an emergency department immediately; and
- Tell others about this threat and share these steps.
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