Written by Dr. Chetan Ginigeri
With the great advancements in technology, the number of gadgets has increased sporadically, and their dimensions have also reduced likewise. From handy and sleek Phone-Tabs, wristwatches, calculators, toys, photo frames, etc., these gizmos are becoming a common find in most homes. Therefore, it is very important to know battery safety for infants.
Technology is becoming an integral part of every aspect of our life. The previously hand-made greeting cards, inextinguishable candles, keys, and even thermometers can operate anywhere and anytime thanks to the interesting invention of batteries!
In This Article
We indispensably need batteries in our daily life. How else would you watch the daily soaps or control AC sit in 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 most frequent battery types we use in our homes.
It becomes imperative to keep our babies safe from these batteries. Being inquisitive and curious as babies are, their first instinct is to taste, and hence if infants see batteries, they put them in their mouths.
Be it your mini remote controls, small calculators, watches, and other electronics, you can find most of these gadgets lying around the house. But they will probably have a coin-sized button battery. Button or coin cells are tiny, merely 5-25 mm in diameter. It is as small as a shirt button.
Its tiny size and slippery surface present a great danger of swallowing by young kids. This may cause choking. Okay, so you think you may pat the back and your baby will spit it out? Well, what if you don’t know whether your little one has swallowed it or not?
Batteries help generate an electric charge, and the presence of moisture can trigger this charge. If the battery gets lodged in the throat, the moisture present in the throat can trigger a charge 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 for the current. Do you remember doing it yourself?
If your child swallows a battery, the effects may not be immediately apparent. And then there may be internal bleeding or fatal consequences within less than even two hours! If you suspect that your kid has ingested a battery, do not try to induce vomiting. Do not try to make them drink water or swallow food in the hope of its removal until a doctor advises you to do so. 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. Babies might try to place the button batteries in their noses or ears – this can cause permanent injury.
[Read : Accidental Poisoning In Babies]
Battery safety for infants is something that should be taken care of seriously. Below are a few tips for childproofing your home against accidents from batteries:
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 ones when they play. Do not let the toys babysit your infant. Instead, indulge in play with your baby. 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 baby and listen to his fantasy world!
There are many potential dangers associated with batteries, including choking, burning, and poisoning. The gastrointestinal system can be seriously affected by button cell batteries if left undetected.
Generally, toys that run on batteries have undergone thorough safety testing. Babies should never be left unattended while playing with batteries-powered toys. Likewise, mixing old batteries with new ones can overheat the toy.
Babies can poop out accidentally swallowed batteries. It can take disk batteries anywhere from 12 to 14 days to transit through the digestive tract. Most of the cells pass through the stool within 72 hours. Check your baby’s stools at home to ensure that the cells have passed through.
Dr Chetan Ginigeri is an experienced Pediatric Intensivist with national and international training. With 15 years of experience, he is one among very few Intensivists in India trained to take care of children who need/had organ transplants. He has been responsible for coordinating the Pediatric Organ Transplant program.Read more.
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