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September Is Baby Safety Month: Beware Button Batteries

Your little bundle of joy is so precious and sweet. Once he or she becomes mobile, everything has to be tasted, including those things you would never allow in the mouth. This is how babies explore their world. Parents do all they can to baby-proof their home. Many even crawl around on the floor to get a kid’s-eye view of the hidden dangers lurking out of sight from the adult’s vantage point. Button batteries are one of those dangers.

TINY CAUSES OF LETHAL PROBLEMS

Button batteries are used to power a variety of electronic devices. They are used for flashlights, remote controls, musical greeting cards, watches and many more items in your household. Some estimates have listed ingestion of these batteries by children younger than 13 years of age, somewhere between 2,500 and 3,000 annually. Most of the batteries swallowed are the lithium type. While these batteries have great advantages, they are also deadly to little ones.

When the battery becomes lodged in the throat or esophagus, it can burn the tissues, causing bleeding. In some cases, when not caught soon enough, the child can die. There is a two-hour window from the time a child swallows a button battery before definite permanent damage is done. The same applies to button batteries being put in the nose or ears.

Symptoms of Button Battery Ingestion

Unfortunately, the symptoms associated with button battery ingestion are very similar to those of infection – that is, if there are any symptoms at all. There was a case where a child acted normally, maybe just a little more clingy, until falling to the floor vomiting blood and then ceasing to breathe. He was taken to the ER where an X-ray was taken as the child lay dying. It was too late. The X-ray showed that the child had swallowed a button battery and died of internal bleeding. Unless you know your child has swallowed a button battery, you may not be aware until the damage has already been done.

Keeping Your Child Safe

Button Batteries are very small, so be aware of the items in your home that have them. Keep all button batteries out of the reach of children. Older children may be able to change out button batteries, however, it is imperative that the old batteries are discarded in a safe manner, where younger siblings cannot get access to them.

Do not allow your little ones to play with battery-powered items that have easy access to the batteries. Many of these items have tiny screws in addition to the latches that hold the batteries in. This is for safety. When changing the button batteries, it is best to do it away from small children.

Hearing aids pose a special problem. Many people remove their batteries when they take off the hearing aids. If you have someone in your household who is in the habit of doing this, be sure the button batteries are kept out of reach of small children.

Some injuries to small children, such as those caused by button batteries, are avoidable when care and precaution are used. Other injuries, such as those caused by a vehicle accident, are unforeseen. Both can turn a family’s lives upside down. The lawyers at Frohlich, Gordon & Beason, P.A., specializing in personal injury law. We provide a complimentary consultation for first-time clients. For excellence in representation and compassionate legal care, contact us for your personal injury case. We proudly serve southwest Florida through our offices located in Port Charlotte, North Port, and Englewood.

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