This post is particularly aimed at my cousins who read my blog and have small children, but it is also for anyone who has small children in the house. That goes for all you grandparents out there! I want you to gather up every electronic gadget that uses batteries in the house right now. Every remote, calculator, or what ever. Go ahead and do that, I'll wait until you get back.
Ready? Now turn over those gadgets to show you the battery access door. Is there a screw to hold the door shut? If not, get some duct tape and seal it up tight. I know it's ugly, but you'll thank me for this one day.
I came across a blog last week called Hazel Is In The Eye Of The Beholder. It's a blog about a beautiful baby named Hazel. For the past several weeks though, it has been a blog about a parents worst nightmare. In short, before Thanksgiving, little Hazel had gotten ahold of one of those little "button" batteries from a DVD remote and swallowed it. The battery lodged in her esophagus and remained there undetected for some time. Hazel's symptoms were similar to a rather nasty virus in the beginning so doctors had no reason to do a chest x-ray until Hazel was nearly at deaths door.
Miraculously, Hazel is recovering and her parents are just now learning how close they came to loosing their precious baby. The surprise is how many children accidentally ingest these small batteries and the the damage they can do is pretty scary. Even the AAA batteries are a hazard. With all the electronic gadgets out there, the danger is increasing exponentially. Many manufacturers of these gadgets are now working to make their products a little safer and that is why you are seeing more screws holding battery doors shut, but I would bet that you have one or two items in your home that don't have any safety on the battery doors. Especially older ones you really don't use any more. Hence the duct tape.
Those talking greeting cards are also a hazard! They have batteries in them as well. I know they are cute, but they can be dangerous to a small curious child so please put those out of reach while you're at it. If you need more information about what to do if your child swallows one of these, the National Capital Poison Center has information for you.
Drop me a line in the comments section and tell me that you have checked your gadgets and put up those talking greeting cards. I'd appreciate knowing your little ones are safe. Thanks!