With great advancements in technology, the number of gadgets has increased sporadically and their dimensions have also reduced likewise. From handy and sleek Phone-Tabs, wrist watches, calculators, toys, photo frames etc. these gizmos are everywhere strewn around us in our house. With everything basking in the glory of technology, the previously hand-made greeting cards, inextinguishable candles, keys and even thermometers can be operated anywhere and anytime thanks to the interesting invention of batteries!
Battery Hazards In Daily Life
We indispensably need batteries in our daily life, how else would you watch the daily soaps or control AC sitting at your comfort? These batteries come in various shapes and sizes. With infants around, trivial things like batteries may pose a threat. Small and slim pencil cells and button cells are the types of batteries frequently used in our homes and we need to protect our kids from it. Being inquisitive and curious as kids are, their first instinct is to taste, and hence if kids see batteries, they put them in their mouths.
Button Batteries And Threats To Children
Be it your mini remote controls, small calculators, watches and other electronics, so casually lying around the house. But they will probably have a coin-sized button battery. Button or coin cells are really small, merely 5-25 mm in diameter, as small as a shirt’s button and its slippery surface presents a great danger of swallowing by young kids. This may cause choking. Okay so you think you may pat the back and your kid will spit it out? Well what if you don’t know whether your little one has swallowed it or not?
Can Swallowed Batteries Cause Electric Charge?
Now these batteries are used to generate electric charge, do you realize moisture can trigger the current? If the battery gets lodged in the throat, the current may be triggered and cause a hole or burn in the throat!
It’s not only the infants from whom you need to hide these batteries but you need to educate older kids about the risks. Kids are the most fearless and daring explorers. They can easily taste the battery to get a feel of the current. You remember doing it yourself?
My Child Has Swallowed A Battery, What Do I Do?
If a battery is swallowed, the effects may not be immediately apparent. And then there may be internal bleeding or fatal consequences within less than even two hours! If your suspect that your kid has ingested a battery, do not try to induce vomiting. Do not try to make him drink water or swallow food in the hope of its removal, until a doctor advises to. It could be fatal! Immediately take the child to the hospital.
X-rays are usually done immediately to see whether a battery is stuck in the esophagus, which can essentially cause tissue damage. An electrical current can form around the outside of the battery, generating hydroxide(an alkaline chemical) and causing a tissue burn. Kids might try to place the button batteries in their nose or ears – this can cause permanent injury.
Preventing Injuries: Battery Safety Tips For Kids
Below are a few tips of childproofing your home against accidents from batteries:
- Check for any loose parts in the toys. Especially the battery compartment! Similarly check remote controls (TV, AC, toys, DVD player etc), mobile phones etc.
- Its best to secure the battery compartment using an adhesive tape to prevent accidental opening and dislodging of batteries from within
- Teach your kids that when replacing batteries, always check for the positive and negative signs and fit the battery accordingly. Always check that the battery is installed as per the specified polarity and snugly fit, otherwise it may cause battery leakage and render the product unusable
- Store the batteries in a place inaccessible by kids. Let them ask you for a new battery when the previous battery runs dry
- Store batteries as per the directions – in a cool and dry place
- Do not store batteries in easy to reach drawers
- Do not store batteries together with medicines or any other metallic object
- Discard the old batteries safely, in a way where kids won’t find them
- Never ever throw batteries into the fire, they may explode!
- Do not try to charge non-rechargeable batteries, or batteries of other manufacturer than designated on the battery charger. It may cause explosion!
- Always supervise the child when he is playing with battery-operated toys or other devices. Batteries can easily get overheated. An overheated battery can be equally dangerous causing burns
Follow the above simple tips and you will certainly minimize the risk of battery hazards. It would be wise to keep an eye on your little one when he plays. Do not let the toys babysit your child. Instead indulge in the play with your child. This not only intensifies the play fun but also strengthens the mother-child bonding. You can also relax and feel blissful in the playful squeak of your child and listen to his fantasy world!