(12/27/11) - Safe Kids Pee Dee/Coastal reminds families to take caution during Home Safety Month (December) as well as year-round. Accidents in homes can occur as a result of everyday activities, and can result in unintentional injuries to children.
Safety Tip Week Four - Coin Lithium Battery Dangers
With more toys around the house during this time of year, Safe Kids reminds parents of the dangers of coin lithium batteries. Inside small electronic devices may be very powerful coin-sized button batteries. When swallowed, these batteries can get stuck in the throat and cause severe burns or death. Children under four years-of-age are at the greatest risk.
According to Safe Kids, each year about 3,500 button battery swallowing cases are reported to national poison control centers. The most serious cases involve nickel-sized 20 mm diameter batteries. These can get stuck in a child's throat and burn through the esophagus in as little as two hours. Repair can require feeding and breathing tubes and multiple surgeries.
Symptoms may be similar to other illnesses, such as coughing, drooling and discomfort. Children can usually breathe with the battery in their throat, making the problem more difficult to spot.
If a child does swallow a button battery, go to the emergency department right away. Do not let the child eat or drink and do not induce vomiting.
Examples of devices that may contain such batteries include battery-operated candles, calculators, scales, electronic car key devices, thermometers, and talking books or games. Keep devices with button batteries out of reach if the battery compartments are not secure, and lock away loose batteries.
For more information on preventing injuries in children, visit the Safe Kids website at www.safekids.org.
Safe Kids Pee Dee/Coastal works to prevent unintentional childhood injury, the leading cause of death and disability to children ages 0 to 14. Its members include Florence County Sheriff's Department, City of Florence Police Department, South Carolina Highway Patrol, and the City of Florence Fire Department. Safe Kids Pee Dee/Coastal is a member of Safe Kids Worldwide, a global network of organizations dedicated to preventing unintentional injury. Safe Kids Pee Dee/Coastal was founded in 1995 and is led by McLeod Health, and funded in part by the McLeod Health Foundation.