Happy Hearts First Aid Tips – Button Batteries
In recent years, hospitals in the UK have seen a very large increase in the number of babies and children being admitted for swallowing button batteries. Many parents who have come to my First Aid sessions have been unaware of the dangers of these batteries, so this month we will have a look at these nasty little things.
Button batteries, usually containing lithium, are no doubt lurking around somewhere in your home. These batteries are commonly found in car key fobs, small remote controls, thermometers, hearing aides, and children’s toys. They certainly do have a place in powering the things we need, but please be aware that they are also extremely dangerous.
If a baby or child swallows a button battery, it can react with their bodily fluids and produce a caustic soda substance. This has a rapid, devastating effect on the digestive system, and can cause serious internal burns and even death. If there is any suspicion that a button battery has been swallowed, the person must be taken to Accident and Emergency immediately.
When my little girl was born, I did a button battery detox of the house. The most surprising places I found button batteries hiding were in some musical birthday cards and in musical Christmas jumpers. With each item that contained button batteries, I asked myself- is this an essential item?
Every item I decided to keep is either stored well away from the kids or, if in a treasured toy, the batteries are very secure, and checked regularly. A big bonus of this detox was that most of the items discarded were the kids’ most loud and annoying toys, those with tunes that are stuck in your head for days!
So, in summary, make sure you know where all these batteries are in your house, the grandparent’s house and even the baby sitters house!
Ensure the batteries themselves are very secure or kept away from children completely. If there is any suspicion that one has been swallowed- go straight to hospital.
Happy Hearts First Aid