There was a recent recall from Chuck E. Cheese regarding some branded light up rings and funny sunglasses that they gave out as promotional products. Probably something kids could win from playing Skee-ball and the like.
They were recalled because the plastic wasn’t particularly strong and a kid sitting or stepping on them could cause the batteries to fall out, which they could then pick up and swallow.
Even if you’ve never been to Chuck E. Cheese, this brings up an important point for us parents. Button batteries are becoming more and more common in and around toys and gadgets, far more so than in years past.
Cheap LED lights, flashing glasses, light up toys, and toys with sound typically use batteries that look like these:
First off, there is the basic choking hazard with these batteries. Some of the larger ones are throat sized and can easily cause a child to choke and suffocate.
But that’s not even the main danger. Approximately 3000 batteries are swallowed each year, a sevenfold increase in the past 20 years. And 10% of children who swallow these batteries will die. HELLO? Did you get that? Ten percent of children who swallow button batteries D-I-E. This isn’t like swallowing a penny or toy that you should allow to pass. If your child has swallowed a button battery, seek medical attention immediately. If your child is showing symptoms and has access to any toy with a missing battery, seek help immediately
The National Capital Poison Center says batteries stuck in the throat can cause severe burns in just two hours. Inside 6 hours, the battery can chew through the throat and/or the organ it is lodged against. Within eight to 10 hours, it can cause death.
Children’s symptoms can include abdominal tenderness, refusing to take fluids, an increase in saliva, and vomiting. Some show no symptoms, so do not wait for them, seek medial attention immediately if your child has swallowed a button battery! Call 1-800-222-1222 for the National Poison Center.
And don’t take no for an answer! You know your child better than a doctor in an emergency room. If your child has these symptoms, make sure they get the care they need. Many of those 10% who die are because of missed diagnosis and a failure to follow up. These button batteries are so small that they might be missed on an X-Ray.
Never give a child under 4 any toy or device that contains these button batteries, and make sure you don’t leave them lying around on a table or the floor where they could be ingested!
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