We have a dog. The dog has a training collar that requires small “button” batteries in the collar and the remote. I have a 5 month old baby boy. I had just recently changed the batteries in the dog’s collar and placed the old batteries in the package and was going to throw them away, but instead I sat them on the washing machine. Somehow they fell off the washing machine and ended up in our bathroom. Our bathroom is connected to the laundry room so someone probably just accidentally kicked the package and it went into the bathroom.
I sat my son down on his stomach for some tummy time while I filled the bath tub for his bath. I turned away for 2 seconds and looked back and he had the package in his mouth!! He had rolled over onto his back and so one of the batteries fell out and hit his nose so he pulled the package out of his mouth as I was going to grab for it at which point the second battery fell out of the package and bounced off his lips onto his chest. I picked up the batteries and the package swiftly and threw them away.
After this occurrence I got to thinking about how bad that could’ve been for us. He could’ve choked on them! I am certified in CPR so I hope I would’ve been able to dislodge it if that would’ve happened but what would happen if I couldn’t? They are small batteries – not AAA, or AA they are the size of a button. Could it have passed all the way through to his stomach?
I decided to look this up and found out alarming news on it. My son is not the first to put these batteries in his mouth. Some kids have been known to swallow them and the electric charge they put off when touched by the liquid in their bodies causes burns and scarring and even a hole burned completely through one baby’s esophagus! Remember as a kid putting your tongue on a 9V battery to feel that shock? Well that is what this is doing inside the baby’s throats. Some parents don’t even realize their kids have swallowed it until they go in for a routine check up or go in for something else! Parents often misdiagnose why their baby is crying. They don’t know that they are in discomfort because of these little electrical charges in their throats.
Research has shown that the majority of kids get these batteries in their mouths by figuring out how to open devices that use them. I’m sure my 5 month old could’ve figured out how to open the dog collar had he wanted to, and I have watches that use these types of batteries – again they are easily opened. I know some people that wear hearing aids and a lot of the time when we go to visit they have their hearing aid just lying on the end tables where my 5 month old could reach or it could get knocked off by my 4 year old playing around and then my child could choke on the whole hearing aid or just figure out the way to get the battery out. I even found out that one of the baby toys designed for children his age uses these “button” type batteries. Luckily the manufacturer made it so the compartment to the battery is locked by using screws to screw it down, which a baby is not going to be able to get open that way.
I and many experts think that because of the damage these batteries can do to a child, all devices that use them should require the compartment that the battery sits in to be “locked” by simply making it harder to impossible for a child to get open. This can be done as easily as requiring the compartment to be opened with a screw driver as the toy that we have does. But until that happens, you will need to be aware of what items use these batteries and where you keep the batteries you have for those items. Make sure the items and the batteries are out of reach and locked up when not in use so that baby can not swallow them.
For more information on this please visit this site that I found very helpful when I freaked out about the possibility of my child swallowing one of those batteries. Thank you God that he didn’t.