How to protect your kids from this deadly item that is in your house right now
I just read an absolutely tragic story about a little boy named Julian Wilson from Las Vegas, Nevada who was almost 2 years old and died on October 18 from swallowing something we all probably have in our homes. This little boy swallowed a small battery and no one had any idea. Paramedics where called because he started vomiting up blood. He ended up dying because of internal bleeding from lacerations in his esophagus, gastric irritation, and a collapsed lung. What?! I had no idea a swallowed battery could cause a child so much harm, did you?
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The type of battery that Julian swallowed was one of those button batteries the kind you find in remote controls, watches, or hearing aids. I've even seen them in some toys. Apparently, these types of batteries react with saliva in a way that causes an electrical charge and can burn the esophagus in as little as two hours. Multiple surgeries are required for treatment and permanent damage is common.
Younger children are at a higher risk because symptoms may go unnoticed. So what are the symptoms? Flu-like symptoms like coughing, drooling and discomfort. Great, it's not like those symptoms would immediately lead you to thinking your child swallowed a battery.
Prevention seems to be the best course of action by far. Steps you can take to protect the children in your home include:
- Child-proof your home and get those batteries out of reach and in a safe place.
- If you have a child that crawls, get down on your hands and knees to make sure there is nothing within that child's grasp that is a danger.
- Put tape over battery compartments to further safeguard your kids from access.
Take a look around your home and make sure these batteries are not easy for your kids to access. Almost 3,000 kids a year are treated in emergency rooms for swallowing batteries. Let's get those numbers WAY down, like to zero.
Image via warrenski/Flickr