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Button Batteries: Hidden Dangers in Children’s Toys

Button Batteries: Hidden Dangers in Children’s Toys

Button Dangers

As the festive season nears, medical professionals caution parents about the risks associated with button batteries found in numerous children’s toys and presents. Button batteries, varying in size from a tablet to a coin, can pose severe threats when ingested. When swallowed, these seemingly harmless batteries may become lodged in a child’s esophagus, leading to severe tissue damage and even life-threatening complications. It is crucial for parents to remain vigilant of their children’s playtime and ensure that all toys and devices containing button batteries are securely fastened and out of reach of younger children.

Button batteries in holiday gifts

Dr. Kris Jatana, a surgeon at Nationwide Children’s Hospital and Ohio State’s Wexner Medical Center, encourages parents to be vigilant concerning button batteries in electronic holiday gifts. These tiny power sources are commonly found in items featuring remote controls and musical or illuminated greeting cards. As the holiday season approaches, it is crucial for parents to be aware of the potential hazards button batteries can pose to young children. If swallowed, these small batteries may lead to severe complications, such as chemical burns, blockages, or even fatalities.

Battery safety in children’s gifts

Jatana advises parents to ensure that a battery in a child’s gift is safely enclosed in a compartment. This safety measure helps prevent the potential ingestion or accidental handling of the battery by young children. Parents should also consistently monitor their child’s use of the toy and inspect the battery compartment regularly to ensure it remains secure.

Emergency response to battery ingestion

If a child swallows a button battery, prompt action is crucial as it is considered an emergency situation. Give children over 12 months of age two teaspoons of honey every 10 minutes and seek immediate medical assistance. The honey helps to create a protective barrier around the battery, reducing the risk of severe injury while waiting for medical help. Meanwhile, for children under 12 months of age, avoid giving honey due to the risk of infant botulism – instead, head straight to the emergency room for immediate care.

Honey as a protective measure

Honey helps to minimize injury in case the battery becomes stuck in the esophagus. For children younger than 12 months, skip the honey and go straight to the emergency department. If the battery becomes lodged, the honey can serve as a protective barrier, reducing the risk of severe tissue damage. However, it is essential to seek medical attention immediately following the incident to ensure the battery’s safe removal and avoid further complications.

National Battery Ingestion Hotline

The National Battery Ingestion Hotline, accessible 24/7 at 800-498-8666, offers further guidance. Operators at the hotline provide immediate advice on how to manage battery ingestion incidents. They can also connect callers with specialists, ensuring a quick and effective response to each unique situation.

Symptoms of button battery ingestion

Indicators of possible button battery ingestion include fever, refusal to consume food or liquids, wheezing, difficulty breathing, throat pain, choking, gagging, and issues with swallowing. Parents and caregivers should be vigilant in identifying these symptoms, as early detection is crucial for the prevention of severe complications and improved treatment outcomes. In case of suspected button battery ingestion, it is imperative to seek immediate medical attention, as timely intervention can prevent potential life-threatening consequences.

Prevention and education

Prevention of such occurrences is crucial. Experts recommend keeping devices powered by button batteries hidden and out of reach of small children, particularly those aged 5 and younger. In addition to securing these devices, it is essential to educate the entire family on the potential dangers of button batteries. Parents and caregivers should be vigilant, ensuring that any loose batteries are stored safely and disposed of correctly, while also discussing battery safety with older siblings who may play a crucial role in protecting younger relatives.

Maintaining a list of devices

Dr. Jatana suggests maintaining a list of electronic devices containing button batteries within a household.This can help keep track of the devices and ensure that any loose or spare batteries are stored safely and securely, out of reach of young children. Additionally, it is important to regularly inspect these devices to make sure the battery compartments are secure and intact, preventing easy access to the small, hazardous batteries.

First Reported on: nbc4i.com

FAQ

What are the risks associated with button batteries?

When ingested, button batteries can become lodged in a child’s esophagus, leading to severe tissue damage and even life-threatening complications.

What types of holiday gifts commonly contain button batteries?

Button batteries can often be found in items featuring remote controls and musical or illuminated greeting cards.

How can parents prevent battery ingestion in children?

Parents can ensure that a battery in a child’s gift is safely enclosed in a compartment, consistently monitor their child’s use of the toy, and inspect the battery compartment regularly.

What should be done if a child swallows a button battery?

If a child swallows a button battery, prompt action is crucial. Give children over 12 months of age two teaspoons of honey every 10 minutes and seek immediate medical assistance. For children under 12 months of age, go straight to the emergency room.

How can honey help protect against battery ingestion injuries?

Honey can serve as a protective barrier around the battery, reducing the risk of severe tissue damage, if the battery becomes lodged in a child’s esophagus.

What is the National Battery Ingestion Hotline?

The National Battery Ingestion Hotline, accessible 24/7 at 800-498-8666, offers further guidance on how to manage battery ingestion incidents, and can connect callers with specialists for prompt and effective response.

What are the symptoms of button battery ingestion?

Indicators of possible button battery ingestion include fever, refusal to consume food or liquids, wheezing, difficulty breathing, throat pain, choking, gagging, and issues with swallowing.

How can we educate family members about button battery safety?

Educating the entire family on potential dangers, securing devices with button batteries, and storing loose batteries safely are essential steps. Discuss battery safety with older siblings to help protect younger relatives.

Why is maintaining a list of devices with button batteries important?

Maintaining a list of electronic devices containing button batteries helps keep track of the devices, ensuring that loose or spare batteries are stored safely and securely, and allows for regular inspection of battery compartments for security and integrity.

Grace Phillips

Grace has been a freelance writer for over 10 years. Currently, her writing interest draws her to SaaS and security for different businesses. In her spare time, she snuggle with her two cats, Ned and Toast.
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