Featured News 2012 Beware of Button Batteries!

Beware of Button Batteries!

Thousands of items that we use weekly are operated by little batteries the size of a coin. Your TV remote, your flashlight, your gaming system, and your electronic scale are only a few of the many different appliances that might these little coin-like power sources. In most circles, these are called “button batteries.” Yet according to the Consumer Product Safety Commission, these little batteries can actually be a serious danger. In our ever-progressive society, it seems that technology continuously gets smaller, while becoming more powerful and efficient. Interestingly enough, the amount of items that use these little button batteries is shrinking. More and more companies are opting for difference power sources in order to create a lasting product. Yet the number in batter related incidents that result in injury or death is on the rise.

The National Capital Poison Center recently found that button battery related deaths are seven times as frequent as they were in 1985. What are these incidents? Normally, they involve young children or seniors. The toddlers and young children who pick up these batteries sometimes choose to put them in their mouths, swallowing the small power source with toxic chemicals inside. The babies and toddlers normally find the batteries in their toys, calculators, or games, and pop to cool round disc into their mouth out of curiosity. Swallowing a battery is more serious than you may think. The chemical juices in the batter can burn the inside of the intestines, resulting in an exorbitantly painful injury and the need for emergency surgery. Sometimes those batteries can become a choking hazard or block the intestine. The burns can begin as little as two hours after the small child swallows the foreign object.

Seniors often handle these batteries because they are put in hearing aids. Yet there have been cases where a senior would see the battery lying on a bedside table and mistake it for a pill. When this happens, the victim suffers intestinal burns, potential choking, and other horrific digestive injuries. Most injuries that have been reported to the CPSC have top do with batteries that are 20 mm diameter, or the 3 volt batteries that are placed in many contraptions. Because the batteries are such an obscure occurrence, more than 60 percent of patients are initially misdiagnosed. Children normally complain of a stomach ache and fever, and are told to take pain relievers.

When a child or senior ingests one of these batteries, pumping the stomach or surgery are two of the only options. In order to avoid this potential disaster, you should keep remotes and other electronics with button batteries out of your child’s reach. Make sure that all battery compartments are taped over so that your child can’t take the battery out of the appliance. Also, you should not allow your child to play with batteries. Teach him or her at an early age that these are not toys and are for adults only. No matter what age you are, you should never put one of these batteries in your mouth.

The metal discs are very slippery, and could end up sliding down your throat before you even have time to think about the accident. Older adults should always double check before swallowing what they think may be a medication. If you or a child swallowed one of these dangerous batteries, then you may want to contact a personal injury attorney to set out on the road to seek compensation. As well, you can contact the CPSC to report the incident and discuss the dangers that you faced. Talk to a personal injury lawyer today to figure out whether or not you have a case, and to seek a settlement for your injuries!

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