Button batteries may sound harmless but in the hands of your child, they can be deadly. Around 20 young children are admitted to emergency departments in Australia each week due to a button battery related injury. This can be extremely stressful and upsetting for parents and their young ones.
Young children can’t help but be curious about their surroundings. They will explore their world by putting anything and everything in their mouths. Button batteries are the size of a small coin and they are attractive to young children as they are bright and shiny. If they get their fingers on this, they can swallow it in a matter of seconds!
If swallowed, button batteries can be extremely harmful and cause irreversible damage such as severe internal burns and bleeding (due to a chemical reaction) if not removed within 2 hours.
Do you have remote controls, electronic toys, calculators and watches in your house? If so, it’s time to button down to help keep your child safe using these simple steps:
- Buy products/toys that don’t require button batteries or look for products that require a screwdriver to open the battery compartment
- Keep devices that contain batteries on high shelves out of reach
- Keep spare batteries confined in containers and out of reach of children
- Throw away unused batteries safely outside the house
- Spread the word to friends and family, particularly those likely to babysit, about button battery safety
If a battery is missing from its device and you notice your child is experiencing chest pain, coughing or vomiting (with traces of blood), decreased appetite, abdominal pain and general discomfort, call the Poisons Information Centre on 13 11 26 immediately.
Button down around the house and think button battery safety so your child can explore safely!