Each year in the United States, more than 2,800 kids are treated in emergency rooms after swallowing button batteries. That’s one child every three hours.
· Keep coin lithium battery-controlled devices out of sight and reach of children. These include remote controls, singing greeting cards, digital scales, watches, hearing aids, thermometers, children’s toys, calculators, key fobs, t-light candles, flashing holiday jewelry or decorations all contain button batteries.
· Keep loose batteries locked away, or place a piece of duct tape over the controller to prevent small children from accessing the battery.
· Share this life-saving information with caregivers, friends, family members and sitters. It only takes a minute and it could save a life.
· If you suspect your child has ingested a battery, go to the hospital immediately. Don’t induce vomiting or have your child eat or drink anything until assessed by a medical professional.
· Enter the National Battery Ingestion Hotline (202-625-3333) into your phone right now.
Medications are the leading cause of child poisoning. Every year, more than 67,000 children go to an emergency room for medicine poisoning. That’s one child every eight minutes.
· Put medicines up and away and out of sight. Make sure that all medicines, including vitamins and adult medicines, are stored out of reach and out of sight of children. (In 86% of emergency room visits for medicine poisoning, the child got into medicine belonging to an adult.)
· Consider places where kids get into medicine. Kids get into medication in all sorts of places, like in purses and nightstands. (In 67% of cases, the medicine was within reach of a child, such as in a purse, left on a counter or dresser or found on the ground.)
· Consider products you might not think about as medicines. Most parents know to store medicine up and away – or at least the products they consider to be medicine. But they don’t always think about products such as diaper rash remedies or eye drops, which may not seem like medicine but can cause harm.
· Use the dosing device that comes with the medicine. Proper dosing is important, particularly for young children. Use the dosing device that comes with the medicine. Kitchen spoons aren’t all the same, and a teaspoon and tablespoon used for cooking won’t measure the same amount as the dosing device.
· Put the toll-free number for the Poison Control Center (1-800-222-1222) into your home and cell phone. You should also post it near your phone or on your refrigerator for the babysitter. Hopefully you’ll never need it, but it’s nice to have just in case.