WARNING: THIS POST DISCUSSES CHILD DEATH
In honour of Reese Elizabeth Hamsmith (the 18-month-year-old child that died from swallowing a TV controller battery) please take 5 minutes to read and act on this, it might not save you money immediately but it may prevent a cost far greater if otherwise ignored.
Button Batteries can be found in:
– Remote Controls (TV, Window Blinds,
– Car Key Fobs
– Blood Glucose Machines
– Key Finders
– Musical Birthday Cards etc
– Small flashlights / torches / head torches
– Fake Candles
– Kitchen Scales
– Hearing Aids
– Light-up sneakers
What happens if ingested?
…if swallowed, they could badly injure or kill a child. Button batteries react with saliva to create caustic soda, which is the chemical often used to unblock drains. If a child swallows a button battery and it gets stuck in their food pipe (oesophagus), it can burn a hole and cause internal bleeding, or even death. If a button battery gets into the stomach, it can also cause significant tissue damage.
Larger lithium ‘coin cell’ batteries (about the size of a five pence piece) are the most dangerous. Smaller batteries can be inserted into places such as ears and noses, causing serious injuries for children if undetected.1
Things you can do to minimise the risk:
- Secure and tape shut the battery compartments of all electronic items AND/OR buy covers (e.g. TV remotes you can buy silicone covers for them which makes them harder to open)
- Keep remotes and other electronics out of your child’s reach if the battery compartments do not have a screw to secure them.
- Safely dispose of button and lithium coin batteries, wrap them in tape and recycle or put them in an outside bin.
- If you suspect your child has ingested a button battery, take them immediately to A&E or dial 999.
- Check your home periodically for new devices or potential risks.
- Educate older children about button batteries – Communicate with older children about the dangers of button batteries including why they should not play with them or give them to younger children.
- Understand that most batteries these days (at least in the UK) have a special film that makes them taste horrid
- Push companies that produce these devices to make changes (as per this best practice guide from UK Government)
- Learn more on the UK Government website
Learn about the incredible work Reese’s Purpose has done in the USA.
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