As a parent, there is no doubt that you worry about everything when it comes to your children; no matter what age they are, it’s a natural instinct! We do everything we can to protect them, whether it’s baby-proofing the home, or watching their every move when they start to learn to walk. It’s a common theme that our children begin to explore the world by putting everything in their mouths and this is something that can be a hazard.
However, accidents can still occur and sometimes they’re more serious than you may think. Leaving small objects around children can be very dangerous; we all know this, and you may have already had experience with your child swallowing something they shouldn’t have. Batteries are one such object that can cause a real health risk to your children if they are left lying around. BuyaBattery offer some advice to parents who should be aware of this risk.
Why batteries are dangerous for children
As parents, we are often vigilant when it comes to putting things away out of reach of your children including the likes of medicine. However, children can still get their hands on them; even sometimes taking them out of devices like remote controls. So, why is this such a threat?
In 2014 Dr Kate Parkins, a paediatrician in the north west, warned the public about the dangers of lithium batteries. Unfortunately, 2 children had swallowed them and not recovered from their injuries, and it became clear that batteries were a life-threatening risk if swallowed. Dr Parkins noted that 5 children in the Greater Manchester area had also suffered from life-changing injuries.
But how does this happen? Button cell batteries are small in size and round, and may appear very similar to shiny sweets to children. If swallowed, the battery can react in the throat and cause a burning effect.
Cases in the news
You may recall instances of this occurring in the news; there have been some devastating reports of children who have managed to get their hands on batteries in the house. In Northern Ireland, a 3-year-old swallowed a watch battery; it became lodged in her food pipe and wasn’t uncovered until she was taken for an X-ray a few days later.
By this time, the battery had already done considerable damage to her throat and she has since spent 9 months receiving serious treatment. Unfortunately, Great Ormond Street have reported an increase in this injury over the last year; they see at least 1 child a month.
In May 2016, a young girl swallowed a battery she found in the family’s 3D TV glasses. She never recovered from the damage it caused.
How you can reduce the risk
If you have small children in your home, you should treat batteries the same way you would treat medicine or even bleach; keep them out of reach, whether they are loose or in remote controls or other such household devices. Being extra vigilant could make the world of difference; batteries can cause so much more damage that just a choking hazard.
Storing batteries away in drawers and cupboards is incredibly important; as much as they are a necessity, you should be aware of the dangers.
Warning signs that your child has swallowed a button battery can include vomiting, choking and trouble swallowing; you are advised to take your child straight to A&E if you encounter this.