Button batteries: you have always stored them in the wrong way, dangerous for children

Button batteries – we all have them in our homes – are among the most dangerous things for children. We often make the mistake of storing them in places where the little ones have access, with the risk that they will ingest them and be exposed to possible serious consequences for their health.

Duracell and Emma Hammett, nurses at the British medical organization First Aid for Life, have collaborated in a useful research to improve home safety, linked to the “problem” of batteries, or rather how we should store them to avoid risks to our children..

The results of the interviews conducted on 2,000 people showed a certain degree of uncertainty in adults, both in terms of the correct way to store batteries and what is right to do in case of ingestion of children.

According to the study, almost 1 in 4 parents found that their child was playing at home with a dead battery, and 53% of respondents admitted that they accidentally left batteries unattended where children could reach them.

This is very risky, in fact, every year there are more cases of children consuming button batteries. We spoke to you a few days ago about the cases reported by Gaslini Hospital in Genoa last month. Also read: Beware of button batteries: 4 babies alone in the last month ended up in the hospital after swallowing them

Ingestion of a battery can cause very dangerous reactions in the body, even within a few hours. If it gets stuck in the esophagus or intestines, chemical reactions occur that can burn the tissues and cause internal bleeding.

As First Aid for Life writes:

The resulting burns are not due to chemicals leaking from the battery, but because the battery itself reacts with body fluids, such as saliva. This reaction releases a substance like caustic soda, which is a strongly burning alkali, similar to the substance used to remove the blockage of drains! Even “dead” batteries can cause damage, so they should be treated with the same care as new batteries.

Then there is a risk of button cell batteries getting stuck in a child’s nose or ear.

Be careful to store the batteries well

There are many ways children can “find” batteries, the most likely being:

  • a device drops and the battery leaks
  • a dead battery is removed and left on a table or other place accessible to children
  • a new battery pack opens and one or more jumps out and rolls under the furniture
  • spare batteries are stored in an easily accessible drawer in the living room or kitchen
  • A toy battery compartment is not closed properly

How to avoid any risk

The system is very simple. As Nurse Hammett advised:

Make sure you have found all the devices in your home that contain coin cell batteries, and check that they are safe, as well as keep the batteries out of the sight and reach of children, and recycle used properly. (…) Spending 10 minutes checking for unattended button batteries is a simple step to make your home more secure.

More specifically, the expert advice is as follows:

  • Always remove dead batteries immediately and reuse them safely and as quickly as possible
  • Keep new batteries out of the reach of children
  • Check all devices to ensure that their battery trays are properly protected
  • Store all spare batteries in a sealed container in a tall cabinet
  • Be sure to check the battery compartments each time you use a device
  • Avoid buying toys at flea markets as it may not comply with safety regulations and be very careful when shopping online or from abroad. Always look for the CE safety mark
  • Teach older children that button cell batteries are dangerous and never play with them or give them to younger children
  • Choose quality batteries with double safety packaging and possibly find those coated with Bitrex, a bitter substance that prevents children from putting them in their mouths

What to do in case of ingestion

If you suspect your child has ingested a coin-cell battery, take it immediately to the emergency room closer.

Other useful tips are:

  • do not provide anything to eat or drink
  • do not try to make him vomit, this may cause further damage (in addition to that caused by ingestion) from caustic soda
  • if possible, try to find out what kind of battery your baby has consumed

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Source: First aid for life

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