Monday, December 8, 2008

If You Have Small Children, Please Read This Post

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!


Anonymous said...

Thanks Mary,

This will be the first thing I do when I get home from work tonight. That is really scary! Thnaks for posting!

Your cousin Annie

Amanda said...

mary, thanks so much for thinking of hazel, and especially for passing the word along about the danger of button batteries! i cant tell you how much i appreciate it. it seems as though we are far from the only parents who were ignorant of how dangerous these common little things are. im happy to say that hazel is doing great now, and we are so blessed to have her back home with us. we ave made so many new friends in the blogosphere because of all of this, and for that i am grateful! have a safe and happy holiday season,
amanda, jamie and hazel