We all know how much babies and toddlers love to put things in their mouths. For little ones it is a tactile experience and helps them to learn textures. But what happens when this process becomes dangerous.
Choking is not the only hazard involved. There is poisoning, but as responsible parents we keep poisons locked away up high and out of reach, or do we?
Not all poisons are obvious or are labelled as such. An item that you would most likely consider a choking hazard can in fact be one of the deadliest poisons our little ones can ingest.
The button battery, found in watches, musical greeting cards, toys, games and kitchen timers and scales can have devastating consequences if swallowed.
This situation touched very close to home for me recently, when a friends little girl was rushed to hospital after having swallowed a battery. Her family had no idea this had happened and at first thought she was just unwell or perhaps cutting teeth.
It started with vomiting, followed by almost constant crying and the inability to settle. When she was no better, her mother took her to the Dr’s and was sent to the hospital for immediate treatment. They were later sent to a bigger hospital with “light’s and siren’s” wailing.
After hours of surgery and a stay in ICU, she is now recovering in the Children’s Ward and will make a full recovery. But things could have been very different like it was for this little girl.
There are several sites with valuable information regarding battery safety and how to recognise the symptoms associated with the swallowing of a button battery like SAFE KIDS WORLDWIDE, The Battery Controlled and Emmett’s Fight, which is a blog about little Emmett’s survival after swallowing a battery.
But let’s look at a few things that we can do to make sure this never happens again
- Keep your batteries locked away like you do your other poisons
- Check toys, cards and other items that contain button batteries and make sure they are secure
- Dispose of used batteries safely, as they still contain enough poisons to be deadly
- SPREAD THE WORD make sure your friends and family are aware of the dangers. The more people that know, the better chance we have at preventing these accidents from happening.
- chest pain
- nausea and/or vomiting
- abdominal pain