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.
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.