The Common Household Item Sending Thousands of Kids to the ER Every YearMonica Bielanko
They’re all over your home. In fact, you’ve probably got several in your kid’s toy box right now!
Thousands of children are rushed to the emergency room every year because of this common household item and some children have even died as a result.
Do you know what it is?
A new report shows that from 1997 through 2010, nearly 30,000 young children up to age 4 were taken to emergency rooms for battery-related injuries. More than half the cases involving button batteries. But older kids are swallowing batteries too. Another ten thousand over the age of 4 visited the emergency room after having swallowed a battery.
The results can be deadly, especially when children are too young to be able to tell their parents, which makes diagnosing the problem difficult.
The batteries cause chemical burns, hemorrhaging and tears in the esophagus. The systems include stomach pain, fever and breathing problems – but those can be caused by many things which means that often, diagnosing the problem may take a long time in a case when time is off the essence.
Fourteen deaths from battery-related injuries were reported over that period from ’97 to 2010 in children ages 7 months to 3 years old.
In one case, a toddler went to the E.R. after choking and coughing. He was released but died a week later when he died of hemorrhaging from having swallowed a battery. Other children who’ve died were initially treated for croup, viral infections and strep throat.
If your kid swallows a battery go to the emergency room immediately.
- The coin-sized batteries children swallow come from many devices, most often mini remote controls. Other places you may find them are: singing greeting cards, watches, bathroom scales, and flameless candles.
- It takes as little as two hours to cause severe burns once a coin-sized lithium battery has been swallowed.
- Once burning begins, damage can continue even after the battery is removed.
- Kids can still breathe with the coin lithium battery in their throats. It may not be obvious at first that something is wrong.
- Repairing the damage is painful and can require multiple surgeries.
- The batteries can become lodged in the throat, burning the esophogus.
Below you can find a battery safety video from safekids.org:
Photo credit: macaronikid.com
More From Monica on Strollerderby:
- Dispatches From the Parent ‘Hood: Top Tweets ‘O’ The Week
- Why I Hate Barbie: See Her Proportions On A Real Woman (Photo)
- 6 Questions Every Parent Should Ask Themselves
You can also find Monica on her personal blog, The Girl Who.