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.