Thursday, June 16, 2011

A New Poison-- that your kids play with now!

Watches, ipads, ipods and hearing aids are devices that use disc batteries.  They can also be found in many toys such as hand held video games.  Convenient for us to carry in our backpacks, in the ear or on an airplane they also can pose serious health hazards to little ones.   To your child it may look like a mint wafer or candy.  But should they swallow the battery, it can cause severe consequences.  They can get stuck in a child's esophagus.  Bodily fluids can prompt an electrical discharge that can cause severe burns to the tissue.   If not removed within two hours there is a very high chance of permanent damage being done.

You can't watch your child every minute.  Putting something in their
mouths and swallowing it only takes a second.  Unfortunately it's nearly impossible to discover the
ingestion, get them to the ER, take an x-ray and have it removed by a specialist all within two hours.  So what's a parent to do?

  • Keep all battery packages out of reach. 
  • Never leave 'spares' anywhere your child can reach.   Remember, some children are great climbers and are very inquisitive by nature. 
  • Don't leave them in a drawer or in the fridge. Keep them in a locked container.  
  • When disposing of batteries place them in a sealed container and preferably not in the garbage.   It's safer to take them to a recycling center....not only so they don't get into little one's hands but because it's also better for the environment. 
Behind Naperville Fire Station #4 at 1979 Brookdale Road there is a hazardous waste drop-off facility. Open on Saturdays & Sundays between 9 am and 2 pm (excluding holidays) it makes it convenient for most parents who are working during the week. 

Benjamin Franklin coined the old adage "an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure".  Prevent, prevent, prevent! As soon as your child receives a battery operated toy, we recommend that you double duct tape the covering of the battery compartment, even if it has a screw lock.  Although those little screws generally don't come loose it is better to prevent the risk of a child getting to the batteries by taking this extra precaution.

If you think your child has ingested a battery, go immediately to the closest ER--don't call us first!!!  Time is of the essence! Tell the ER staff you think your child ingested a disc battery and they should alert the ENT physician to be ready to remove it if the x-ray confirms its presence.

As in all poisoning issues, what we do to prevent exposure is as important as treating the poisoned child.

To find the nearest battery recycling center to your home please visit http://www.ehso.com/ehshome/batteries.php
The Consumer Product Safety Commission has many articles regarding batteries.  You may find them at http://www.cpsc.gov/

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

With the advancement in the science and technology there is an increase in the number of portable devices and most of the people use these devices but unfortunately people don't care and leave such devices near their children which consider these as their toys.so parents should take care on these regards prevent the contact of such disease with children.you have raised a very serius issue and i thank you on this behalf.keep the good work up.