Children & Batteries

With the “explosion” of battery-operated gadgets in all of our lives, a safety problem has arisen with regard to the batteries which children can remove from devices such as remote controls and toys.  In fact, it is estimated that over the past 20 years, approximately 65,000 children have been treated in an Emergency Room for problems related to an ingested battery.

Particularly dangerous are the small “coin”-type lithium batteries which can be easily swallowed or placed in ears or noses where they can wreak havoc.  Apart from being a choking hazard due to their shape and size, these batteries can essentially burn a hole through soft tissue or cartilage in various parts of the body, doing irreparable harm and proving fatal in too many cases.  One researcher with the National Poison Center in Washington DC estimates that the number of very serious or fatal outcomes from battery ingestion has grown by 700% in the past 25 years.

Be sure to keep all batteries secure where no child can access them.  If any device containing a battery has a compartment that can be secured with a screw, be sure to do so. Otherwise, some heavy duty tape might be a good idea to keep the compartment closed to little fingers.


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