Posts Tagged ‘batteries’

Changing batteries in smoke detectors

Thursday, March 14th, 2013

smoke-alarmI try to remember to change the batteries in my smoke detectors every time I change my clocks to or from daylight savings time. But this week I forgot… did you? I just read about it on the Safe Kids Worldwide web site and said “Oh shoot!” Thanks so much to them for the reminder!

During daylight savings time, Safe Kids Worldwide spreads the message of the importance of fire safety. They offer the tip of whenever there is a time change and you need to change your clocks, also make it a habit to change the batteries in all smoke alarms. If you recently had come up with the thought on your own (good for you!) and your batteries were changed not too long ago, then just conduct a test of your smoke alarms now.

Working smoke alarms on every level of the home, outside every sleeping area, and in every bedroom are the best protection against fire. Be sure to keep track of the age of your smoke alarms – their maximum life span is 8-10 years. (I usually take a marker and write the date I installed it on the side of the alarm.) After that time, the entire unit should be replaced. I had to pitch two of mine and get new ones yesterday.

Check out the Safe Kids Worldwide web site for more resources on fire safety.

Dangerous button batteries

Thursday, May 17th, 2012

button-batteriesThe dangers of button batteries, roughly the size of a dime, are back in the news. According to a study just published in the journal Pediatrics by a group of researchers from Nationwide Children’s Hospital in Columbus, OH, there were an estimated 5,525 ER visits caused by batteries in 2009, with the majority of them occurring in children under the age of five.

Swallowing a button battery can cause serious problems if it becomes stuck in the esophagus. (Kids have been known to stick them in their nose or ear where they can be problematic, too.) Lithium, which makes these little batteries more powerful, also makes them more dangerous.  If they are surrounded by liquid, they can generate an external current and can release toxic fluid that can burn through tissue and even cause death in as little as two hours. If you suspect that your child might have swallowed a button battery, don’t wait but immediately take him to the emergency room to have it removed.

Products designed for children should meet certain standards to ensure batteries cannot be easily removed – such as adding a screw to secure the compartment door. Do the ones in your house meet these standards? Much of the time protections on children’s products do not extend to products meant for adults. It’s crucial that all of us are proactive – that we search for, identify and secure the button batteries we use.

Here’s a list of some of the items you may have in your home, purse, or car that use button batteries (who knew?!) Check these out:  toys; wireless game controls; hearing aids; digital thermometers; watches; calculators; fun flashing jewelry and shoes; remote control devices, including the wireless access for your car door; greeting cards; flashlights; digital bathroom scales; laser pointers; back-up for your PC or digital clock; PDA devices; battery operated children’s books; glucometers, security tokens; video game cartridges or memory cards; solar/electric candles; bicycle LED head and/or tail lights…

Lock your spare batteries in a cabinet where you also lock poisons or your medications. Make sure you share this information with your friends and family members with young children. And don’t forget to tell grandparents who often are out of the loop on things like this but care for your little ones.

Button batteries very dangerous to tots

Friday, June 4th, 2010

My youngest grandchild is just one year old – cute as a button!  She’s finally walking, but still crawls around and gets into everything on the low/down a lot.  Like every baby, she sometimes finds things she shouldn’t.

This week I read a  New York Times had an article  about a child who had swallowed “a ‘button’ battery, one of those flat silver discs used to power remote controls, toys, musical greeting cards, bathroom scales and other home electronics.”  Unsure of what was causing their son’s upper respiratory type problems, the parents took him to his doctor several times.  After nine days of severe symptoms, an x-ray showed he had swallowed a button battery.  It was surgically removed the next day and the little guy went home.  Unfortunately, the current of the battery had caused a host of problems to erupt within him during the previous week and the child died two days later.  To this day, the parents don’t know how he got hold of the battery.

I’m lucky that I am in good physical shape and don’t need things like hearing aids.  But my granddaughter’s other grandmother does, as does her great-grandfather.  Those hearing aids use button batteries.  I do get those fun musical greeting cards occasionally, and my husband was changing the battery in the cell phone the other day.

I also found an article in the June issue of Pediatrics which cites two recent studies. “The most hazardous battery ingested, the 20-mm lithium cell, was intended for use in remote controls in 37.3 percent of cases. Study authors suggest that all consumer electronics powered by 20-mm lithium cells should require a secure battery compartment accessible with a tool (screwdriver) or child-resistant lock to prevent further pediatric ingestions.”  We have remotes for our TVs, DVD player, stereo…  So how secure are your remotes?

In short, those batteries are all around us. They are the size of antacids, of candy.  They are tempting and terrible to tots.  Keep them in a very safe place.