The dangers of Button Batteries.
The Child Accident prevention Trust (CAPT) have sent out a timely reminder in time for Christmas about the danger to children from button batteries.
Q: Would you even know where to find a button battery? A: Button batteries are found in many everyday household objects such as car key fobs, musical greetings cards, children’s books and toys, and even in children’s thermometers.
Very few parents know that a button battery, if swallowed, can kill a child in a matter of hours, and perhaps surprisingly, it’s not through choking.
The most serious cases are associated with Lithium button batteries larger than 20mm (the size of a 10 pence piece) which can cause severe injury within two hours, and they do not have to be damaged, crushed or chewed to cause serious harm – the electrical charge from the battery creates caustic soda inside the body, which can burn a hole through the throat and major blood vessels and children can bleed to death, even a week after surgical intervention.
Dr Parkins, a lead consultant for the Central Manchester University Hospital Trust region’s Paediatric Intensive Care Transport Service, is calling for a national campaign to highlight the dangers.
The consultant at also wants to raise medical awareness “because a lot of doctors are unaware that this can cause harm either”.
If you find a toy or device with a battery missing or you suspect your child might have swallowed a battery, look out for these symptoms:
•nausea and vomiting
•discolored or bloody stool
•refusal to eat or drink
Follow these guidelines either if your child HAS swallowed a battery, or if you even THINK that they have.
Really this is a case of when it’s always best to err on the side of caution.
•Call 999 or go to A&E immediately.
•Do NOT try to induce vomiting (the button battery can cause as much harm on the way up as it did on the way down).
•Don’t let your child eat or drink.
•Tell the doctors that you believe your child swallowed a button battery. An X-ray will be done to see if the battery is in your child’s body.
•Understand that if a battery is stuck in your child’s body, it has to be removed to prevent further injury.
If you have young children, childproof your home as much as you possibly can.
Try getting down on your hands and knees in every room of your house to see things from a child’s perspective -it will give you a whole new outlook on what could be dangerous.
Of course, whether you childproof your home or not, nothing can be as effective in helping to prevent accidents as adult, responsible supervision.
I hope that you have enjoyed reading this blog.
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