Button batteries are small disc-shaped lithium batteries, about the size of a coin or button. Their small size makes them choking and swallowing hazards. Swallowing a battery, even if it does not cause choking, can be very dangerous and cause chemical burns inside the body.
Button batteries are often found in small electronic devices, including:
- Remote controls
- Car keys
- Musical greeting cards and books
- Electronic toys and games
Prevention is key:
Keep button battery controlled devices out of reach of children.
Remember, button batteries can be found in your child’s electronic toys and books. Check to make sure that the battery compartments cannot be opened easily. If it is easy to get to the batteries in a toy do not let your child play with it.
Also keep all other batteries in a safe place where your child cannot get to them.
Get treatment right away:
If you think your child has swallowed a battery, go to the hospital immediately even if your child seems OK. The symptoms may be tricky to recognize. They include coughing, drooling,and discomfort. Even if you have the smallest doubt, do not take any chances. Go to the emergency room right away.
Do not induce vomiting or have your child eat or drink anything until they are seen by a doctor.
Lead is a toxic metal that is sometimes used in construction and manufacturing. Exposure to lead can be poisonous to everyone, especially children.
Possible sources of lead:
- Contaminated soil, found near busy streets and homes that were painted with lead-based paint.
- Water that flows through old lead pipes or faucets.
- Food stored in old bowls that were glazed or painted with lead products.
- Some toys, jewelry, and craft materials, including paint, ink, plaster, and stained glass.
Q & A
Q: I live in an older home and am worried that the walls were painted with lead-based paint. What can I do to keep my family safe from lead exposure?
A: First, consider asking your landlord or local health department about having your home evaluated for lead sources.
If you think that you might have lead-based paint on your walls, use a damp cloth to wipe windowsills and walls to keep them free of paint chips. Watch out for water damage that can make paint peel. Peeled paint chips can be picked up by young children and put in their mouths or swallowed.
Do not sand or heat lead-based paint because doing so increases the risk that lead will be inhaled. If the paint doesn’t have many chips, a new layer of paint, paneling, or drywall will probably reduce the risk. It’s best to talk to a professional because other steps might need to be taken to contain the lead in the paint.