You learn something new every day.
Is that a cliche? I don’t know if it is or not. I think it’s just one of those sayings that we blow off but that is actually very, very true. Especially if we pay attention. If you’re like the majority of people who read this post, you are about to learn something new today – something new I learned just a couple of days ago and I am compelled to pass on because it’s important for our kids’ safety.
You guys, you know those little batteries in your car key fob, your watch, and those books with sound that your kiddo loves? They can be really dangerous if they aren’t secured properly. And if swallowed, they can seriously injure or even kill your little one.
I will be honest with you. As soon as I read through the materials I was given to help facilitate this post, I got up and ransacked my house like a mad woman, looking for items we own that contain coin-sized or button batteries, and making sure all those batteries were secure. Because this? Is serious business.
Before last week, I had NO idea about this – none. I thought the major danger from swallowing a battery was choking! I remember once when Joshua got a battery when he was small, and popped it in his mouth. He dropped a toy, the battery cover popped out, and by the time I could get to him, he had it in his mouth. It was a AA, and I got it right away, but it was scary. But I’d never considered anything beyond the battery being a choking hazard.
Small lithium-powered “coin” or “button” batteries pose a very different and much more frightening danger. If swallowed, these batteries can cause severe burns inside a person’s esophagus. The dangers are real, mostly because most parents don’t know the dangers, and kids have easy access to devices that use this kind of battery. Please take a minute to learn about Emmett, one sweet little guy who swallowed one of these batteries and the struggles he now faces.
Aren’t Emmett’s parents courageous? I so admire their efforts to spread awareness about these batteries. And I admire The Battery Controlled, an effort from Energizer and Safe Kids Worldwide for bringing them on board to educate parents and caregivers about the hidden dangers of coin-sized button battery ingestion.
Every year, about 3,500 incidents of button batteries being swallowed are reported to Poison Control centers in the U.S. In 2012, 17 serious injuries and even 2 deaths were reported. Because the dangers are so real and so serious, The Battery Controlled has created this super-helpful infographic to teach about how we can safely handle these batteries in our homes. (You can also download a PDF of this infographic here.)
I think the most important part (to me) of this infographic is the 4 “S’s” of battery safety:
- STORE devices that use coin lithium batteries out of reach of children
- SELECT battery packaging that complies with the child-resistant packaging standards and recommendations made by the staff at the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, such as Energizer coin lithium battery packaging
- SECURE the battery compartments of devices and look for devices that contain a child safety feature for their battery doors, such as a screw or child-resistant mechanism.
- SHARE this information with your friends and family. A recent survey revealed that 62 percent of parents are not aware of the dangers of coin lithium battery ingestions; Energizer and the National Safety Council hope to change that.
If your remotes use these button batteries, secure those battery doors with strong tape if they don’t already have a screw in them. Most remotes seem to have battery compartments that are really easy to open (at least in my house).
I sincerely hope you read every word of this post and watched the video. This is so, so, so important. In fact, I had a conversation with my husband about it immediately after I read through all the info on the Battery Controlled website, so that he would be aware of the dangers that button batteries can pose and so that we would be on the same page about taking precautions in our home. Like me, he didn’t know about the risks. So, in addition to reading this, I hope you also have a conversation with your spouse or other caregivers and make sure everyone knows how to keep our kids safe!
To keep the conversation about battery safety going, I hope you’ll join us tomorrow at noon EST on Twitter for a battery safety Twitter party with the Motherhood and the Battery Controlled. Please come to learn and to share your own battery safety tips! To join in, just use the hashtag #BatteryControlled and follow @theMotherhood, @CooperMunroe, and @TheMotherhood25. You can win some great prizes – one of five $50 Target gift cards – and learn some important battery safety info to share with your family and friends. I look forward to tweeting with you then!
Did you know about the dangers of coin-sized button batteries? What steps are you going to take to keep them out of the reach of your kids?