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Safety is so important that I’m always looking for alerts to write about or to pass along. Here are a one I found recently:

– U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission is concerned about the number of injuries from the swallowing of batteries. As they state:

A recent study conducted by Dr. Toby Litovitz of the National Capital Poison Center, found that button battery-related incidents resulting in severe injury and fatality have increased sevenfold since 1985. The majority of reported incidents involve 20 mm diameter, or larger, 3 volt batteries. Occasionally, a swallowed battery will pass through the intestine. Most often, however, batteries that become lodged in the throat or intestine can generate and release hydroxide, resulting in dangerous chemical burns.

Some recommendations to prevent this from happening:

    • Discard button batteries carefully.
    • Do not allow children to play with button batteries, and keep button batteries out of your child’s reach.
    • Caution hearing aid users to keep hearing aids and batteries out of the reach of children.
    • Never put button batteries in your mouth for any reason as they are easily swallowed accidentally.
    • Always check medications before ingesting them. Adults have swallowed button batteries mistaken for pills or tablets.
    • Keep remotes and other electronics out of your child’s reach if the battery compartments do not have a screw to secure them. Use tape to help secure the battery compartment.
    • If a button battery is ingested, immediately seek medical attention. The National Battery Ingestion Hotline is available anytime at (202) 625-3333 (call collect if necessary), or call your poison center at (800) 222-1222.

Watch a video clip about the hazard of button batteries (in "streaming video" format)

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