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Keep your kids safe with these battery safety tips

Posted by Scott Stueber, CPCU, CISR, AAI on Dec 19, 2017 9:00:00 AM

batteries.jpgCurrently, many of us are frantically buying and wrapping presents in time for Christmas. When Christmas morning arrives, our kids are filled with anticipation and excitement. That can all come to a screeching halt if you forgot to buy batteries.

When I was a kid, C and D batteries along with trusty 9 volts took care of running a lot of my toys. Fast forward to today, and our homes are filled with electronic devices that use many different types of batteries.

Button batteries are commonly used today and can be dangerous to children. Button batteries are round small batteries that are used in a variety of devices such as:

  • Remote controls;
  • Games;
  • Toys;
  • Hearing aids;
  • Calculators;
  • Bathroom scales;
  • Musical greeting cards;
  • Key fobs;
  • Ornaments; and
  • Electronic jewelry.

If these small batteries are swallowed or are placed in the nose or ear, serious injury can occur. Once placed in the body, these little batteries send out a current that begins to burn the body.

Because I don’t have small children, I wasn’t aware of the dangers these little batteries possess. If your child swallows a button battery, watch for:

  • Fever;
  • Irritability;
  • No interest in eating or drinking;
  • Throat pain; and
  • Vomiting.

If it appears your child may have swallowed a button battery, go to your local Hospital’s emergency department or contact the Poison Center at 1-800-222-1222. The American Association of Poison Control Centers supports 55 poison centers across the nation. The Poison Help Line offers free, confidential, medical advice 24 hours a day 7 days a week.

Here are some battery safety tips to keep your family safe this holiday season.

1. Adhere to manufacturer’s instructions and recommendations.

2. Periodically check toys for leaking batteries or corrosion around the battery posts.

3. Don’t mix and match batteries. Replace all batteries in a device at the same time with like batteries.

4. Don’t do what my brother and I tried when we were kids. Don’t crush batteries with a hammer or try and light them on fire.

5 . Store batteries out of reach from small children.

Rechargeable battery safety tips

1. Don’t overcharge. Before charging the batteries, read the instruction on how long batteries should charge. Also, try to figure out if the charger you’re using has an automatic shutoff when the batteries reach full charge.

2. Charge nearby. If you’re re-charging batteries for your Xbox controller, plug in the charger near you. This way you can keep an eye on them. A battery fire could occur very quickly if for some reason the batteries overheat.

3. Good ventilation. Plug in the charger in a place that allows for appropriate airflow around the charger. Also, keep the charger out of direct sunlight.

4. Don’t mix and match. Don’t use different rechargeable batteries in your devices or charger. When it is time to change the batteries, replace them all at once with new batteries of the same type. Also, don’t put a variety of batteries in the charger. Each charger is made for a specific battery type.

5. Recycle. When your rechargeable batteries reach their end of life, don’t just throw them in the garbage. Electronic stores near you may collect them and dispose of them properly. At West Bend, we have a place where we can drop off batteries, eyeglasses and old cellular phones so that they get disposed of safely.

Smartphone charging safety tips

1. Genuine Parts. Charge your phones with genuine parts or reputable alternative brands. A cheap cord may not be the best for your phone.

2. Stay out of bed. Avoid charging your phone between your blankets. This can lead to a fire.

3. Don’t drain your phone. To prolong your battery life, try to keep your battery between 50 and 80 percent. Don’t let your phone drain down to zero. Charging your phone often from 0 percent to 100 percent is hard on the battery and could reduce its life expectancy.

I hope these tips help keep your family safe during the holiday season.

Do you have any suggestions or information you’d like to share? I’d love to hear from you. Please share them in the box below.




Topics: Holiday Safety

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