A recent study reports that pediatric battery-related emergency department visits have increased in the past decade. Data from 2010-2019 showed that the frequency of such visits has more than doubled since a previous study that looked at data from 1990-2009.
In the United States, a child under the age of 18 visits an emergency department for a battery-related injury every 75 minutes. Button batteries were the type most frequently involved in these incidents. 84% of the children injured were 5 years old or younger.
Dangers Associated with Button Batteries
Button batteries are often used to power small electronics. This includes toys, hearing aids, watches, remote controls, and more. They can often be easily removed from devices, which poses a risk to small children who often put foreign objects in their ears, nose, and mouth.
When swallowed by a child, button batteries can cause severe and even life-threatening injuries. They may burn through the child’s esophagus or cause other serious injuries. 90% of the battery-related emergency department visits in the study were due to battery ingestion. When ingested, button batteries can cause serious injury in as little as two hours.
The Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) updated the toy safety standard in 2017 to require that toys powered with button batteries have warning labels and instructions regarding the risks. However, this safety standard doesn’t apply to other type of products powered by button batteries. Reese’s Law was signed in August 2022. As a result, the CPSC will develop child-resistant testing standards for the battery compartments of devices powered by button batteries. These devices will also include labels that make the risk of ingestion clear.
Reduce Battery-Related Injuries
Keeping devices that are controlled by button batteries out of reach and out of sight of children is key. Be on the lookout for things like digital scales, musical greeting cards, key fobs, thermometers, calculators, flashing holiday decorations, and more.
Make sure the battery compartment is secure in devices with button batteries, so it is difficult for a child to access the batteries. If the item is damaged or the battery compartment can’t be secured, stop using the product.
If you or a loved one has been injured due to a defective product, contact the Schuerman Law office today. Schuerman Law has been working with personal injury claims for over 40 years. John Schuerman will compassionately advocate for injured individuals as well as their families while fighting for full compensation of their claims. Schuerman Law offers evening and weekend appointments in addition to home and hospital visits. Schedule a free consultation today by calling 1-800-274-0045.