Who would think such a tiny thing as a battery from a greeting card, remote control, or watch could cause so much harm.
Follow the link at the end of this page and take the quiz and see how much you know about these tiny batteries.
These batteries are sold just about everywhere here in the Atlanta area – retail stores, convenience stores, grocery stores; and most places where battery operated devices are sold. Best Buy here in the Atlanta area sells these batteries from $4.99 to $7.99. Such a low price to pay for a product; but such a high price to pay if they are left where small children can ingest them.
The Consumer Protection Safety Commission issuing a warning to everyone in the family to be aware of the potential hazard of these tiny little button-like batteries.
Small children and senior citizens are the ones most often injured by accidently swallowing these batteries.
Don’t hold a battery in your mouth while you are attempting to change them out. They are so easily swallowed; and just holding them in your mouth can cause chemical damage. Sometimes if someone swallows one of these, they will pass them without any problems; but more often as not there will be an immediate reactions and sometimes devastating consequences.
Since 1985, there has been a threefold increase in these being swallowed.
The CPSC offers the following warnings and advise regarding these batteries.
A recent study conducted by Dr. Toby Litovitz of the National Capital Poison Center, found that cell battery-related incidents resulting in severe injury and fatality have increased sevenfold since 1985.
The majority of reported incidents involve 20 mm diameter, or larger, 3 volt batteries. Occasionally, a swallowed battery will pass through the intestine. Most often, however, batteries that become lodged in the throat or intestine can generate and release hydroxide, resulting in dangerous chemical burns.
Incidents most often involve children younger than four years old and senior adults. In the majority of incidents, children gain access to batteries directly from games, toys, calculators, remote controls and other items commonly left within a child’s reach. Senior adults have swallowed button batteries used in hearing aids after mistaking them for pills.
Parents often are unaware that a child has swallowed the button battery, which makes it difficult to diagnose the problem. In fact, in the recent study, more than 60 percent of reported incidents initially were misdiagnosed. Symptoms resemble ailments common in children, such as an upset stomach and fever, and in some incidents, there are no symptoms at all.
“These incidents are preventable and CPSC is working to get ahead of this emerging hazard quickly,” said CPSC Chairman Inez Tenenbaum. “Our consumer awareness efforts and outreach to the electronics industry are under way.”
CPSC has reached out to the electronics industry and battery manufacturers, urging them to develop warnings and industry standards to address this issue.
CPSC recommends the following steps to prevent unintentional battery ingestion:
- Discard button batteries carefully.
- Do not allow children to play with button batteries, and keep button batteries out of your child’s reach.
- Caution hearing aid users to keep hearing aids and batteries out of the reach of children.
- Never put button batteries in your mouth for any reason as they are easily swallowed accidentally.
- Always check medications before ingesting them. Adults have swallowed button batteries mistaken for pills or tablets.
- Keep remotes and other electronics out of your child’s reach if the battery compartments do not have a screw to secure them. Use tape to help secure the battery compartment.
- If a button battery is ingested, immediately seek medical attention. The National Battery Ingestion Hotline is available anytime at (202) 625-3333 (call collect if necessary), or call your poison center at (800) 222-1222.
How much do you know about button batteries?
Take this quiz to find out. http://www.cpsc.gov/cpscpub/pubs/387.pdf
If you are new to “Atlanta News You Can Use,” you may wish to subscribe in order to personally receive notice when future articles are published of interest or warning to your family. Please share this on Facebook and other social networks in order to warn others of the potential harm these little things can cause. I wrote an article last year about a small boy who swallowed one of these and died.
This link will take you to the story about the baby boy who died. It was written last January, 2010. Be sure and read the comments of those who have been affected by this tragic accident.