Batteries can be choking hazards for kids

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The most amazing part of the parenting is simply cherishing your child grow.  Your infant starts crawling, then walking and finally running around.  One peculiar characteristic of infants is that they want to feel everything with their teeth or gums; partly because as the tooth begins to bud out of the gums, these objects message the gums. 

Kids can bite on any thing within their reach ranging from coins, toys to cell phones.  Some of the small objects like coins can be categorized as serious choking hazards.  I am amazed to see that stores like toys R us have most of the toys with choking hazards warning. A recent study published in Pediatrics reported 20 mm lithium batteries as a common choking hazard.

The research revealed that in last 24 years, there has been 6-7 fold increase in percentage of severe outcome caused by battery ingestion.  The battery ingestion can cause injury like destruction of esophagus, perforation of the aorta and vocal cord paralysis.

Coins have been a serious choking hazard for kids and batteries being small circular disk can be as hazardous as coins.  Some kids can even confuse it as a candy.  Dr. Toby Litovitz, executive medical director of the National Poison Center said that “Once swallowed,...



the stuck battery can create a current, burning through the child’s esophagus, airway or even the aorta”

Well, I still don’t see 20 mm Lithium batteries lying around in my house, but the study certainly indicates that it is a common object laying around that a child has access to.  With increasing electronics in the house, battery compartment of gadgets like calculators, flashlights, etc, increases access to the batteries to your child.  Dr. Litovitz advised to tape the compartment of these gadgets firmly as child can easily open the latches and choke on the batteries.

With advancement, gadgets are becoming smaller, that increases demand of the 20 mm Lithium batteries as suppose to the AA or AAA size batteries.  I hope parents will be more responsible to minimize access to these batteries for your child.

Healthy Parenting!

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