Tips to keep your children safe from a hidden danger
(Family Features) Filled with mesmerizing trinkets and gadgets — your home is a new and exciting world for your small child to explore. But this new world can introduce serious and sometimes surprising safety issues that many parents do not realize are risks.
Hidden concerns in common household devices
As your children happily toddle around your home, they may come in contact with unknown safety issues scattered throughout. One issue you may not have considered is coin lithium batteries, about the size of a nickel, which can be found around most homes in everyday items like remote controls, keyless entry devices for your car, sound-enabled books and a variety of health and fitness devices. Because many of these devices are not regulated as children’s toys, the battery compartments often are very easy to open. Children are naturally drawn to these devices, as many include buttons that are fun to play with and push.
The danger of these batteries is very real. If a coin-sized lithium battery is swallowed by a small child, it can get caught in the esophagus. The battery can react with saliva and cause a chemical reaction that can lead to severe injuries in as little as two hours. Unfortunately, many parents do not know about the issue. In fact, a recent survey showed 62 percent of parents reported being unaware of the risk associated with coin lithium batteries.
Spread the word
In an effort to help keep children safe, Energizer and the National Safety Council are working together to educate parents and caregivers on the steps they can take to help prevent these injuries.
“We know parents and caregivers are constantly thinking about their children’s safety, but we want to bring awareness to an issue still unknown to many families,” said Amy Heinzen, Program Manager of Grants and Strategic Initiatives for the National Safety Council. “Coin lithium battery safety needs to be top of mind and we hope parents will take the time to learn about the issue with these four simple steps to help children be safe.”
The 4 S’s of coin lithium battery safety
Make your home safer and spread awareness with four simple steps to store, select, secure and share information about this hidden safety concern.
Store. Awareness of the issue is a good start, but making sure you have a game plan is even better. If you currently have coin lithium batteries in your home, store them where little hands can’t get them and little eyes can’t see them. It’s also important to not let children use devices powered by these batteries as toys. In fact, 45 percent of parents admit to letting their kids play with their keys, remotes and similar devices, which could very likely include a coin lithium battery.
Select. When you are in need of coin lithium batteries, it is important to do your research in advance, and select battery packaging that meets the strict guidelines set by the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) for child resistance. Energizer was the first to introduce 20 millimeter coin lithium battery packaging that meets these criteria, restricting a child’s ability to get in the package, while still allowing adults to easily open it with scissors.
Secure. If the battery compartment door opens in the hands of a child, it becomes a potential hazard. It is essential to secure the battery doors of all devices powered by coin lithium batteries, including the keyless entry devices found on most car keys. You can also look for devices that feature a screwed back for additional security.
Share. Finally, you are encouraged to share this information, whether online with your friends, at playgroups or daycare, so every family can take the same steps to protect their children.
“From flashlights to smoke alarm batteries to coin lithium battery packaging, we are always looking for ways our products can help keep families safe,” said Brad Harrison, Vice President of Marketing for Energizer North America. “It is our hope that by bringing awareness to this issue and being the first battery company to offer packaging that meets federal safety standards, more children can be safe.”
In case of emergency
If it is suspected a child has swallowed a coin lithium battery, it is important to go to the emergency department immediately. For more information on child safety and coin lithium battery safety, visit nsc.org, www.energizer.com, www.TheBatteryControlled.com and www.poison.org/battery.
Devices Powered by Coin Lithium Batteries
From toys to health and fitness gadgets, coin lithium batteries are used in a variety of different devices found throughout the home. Use this list to become aware of common items that require these batteries so you keep such devices away from small children.
—Blood glucose meters
—Heart rate monitors
—Electronic remote controls
—Garage door openers
—Keyless car entry devices