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Beware of Button Batteries

If you have a little one, you’re constantly on the lookout for small objects they might put in their mouth. It’s a habit. I heard once that if it’s small enough to fit inside a toilet paper roll, it’s a potential problem. Even if you’ve already baby-proofed your house, you’re on the alert for new things coming into your house, things getting left out by older children, and dangers in other homes.  As diligent as we are, every now and again we hear about a danger that we hadn’t thought of.  I heard about one such problem on the news the other night and thought it was worthy of passing along.

Button Battery

Button Battery

We have lots of electronic gizmos in our homes that are large enough not to pose a problem.  But what is powering them?  In many cases, it’s a small battery, shaped like a disc that’s about the size of a nickel.  These things are used in television remotes, key fobs, hearing aids, cameras, musical greeting cards and other items. Since these things aren’t toys, the battery chamber is often easily accessible.

To make matters worse, it’s not just a choking hazard.  When these batteries are exposed to moisture, like when they’re swallowed, they leak acid and send out an electrical current. Sometimes you get lucky and the battery just passes through. Sometimes it gets stuck, damaging the tissue and making the child sick. In fact, ten percent of children who swallow button batteries die.

So take yet another look around your house for anything that has lights or makes noises and think about where it’s getting its power from. Then get it out of reach of little ones, or secure the battery cover so that kids can’t open it up.

Source: Stephanie Stahl