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‘Tis the season for small, deadly batteries

Treat batteries like other dangers – store them out of sight and reach of children.

They light up, flash, sing, move and dance. Electronic toys and holiday ornaments make the season bright and bring hours of enjoyment, but they also contain small, coin-size batteries that can be deadly for children.

“All types of button batteries can be hazardous,” says Dr. Murray Fyfe, Medical Health Officer, Island Health. “Parents need to treat batteries like other dangers – store them out of sight and reach of children.”

Button batteries can cause significant medical damage or death to children when swallowed. The electrical charge in a button battery reacts with the body’s tissues and fluids, leading to internal burns in as little as two hours.

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Button batteries can be found in musical greeting cards, remote controls, children’s books, flashlights, flashing jewellery, hearing aids and key chain accessories.

Follow these tips to limit your children’s access to button batteries:

  • Store all batteries out of sight and reach of children, preferably in a locked cabinet or container.
  • Do not allow children to play with button batteries or remove them from household products.
  • If a product has batteries, ensure the batteries are locked inside and that the child can’t easily access them.
  • Discard used batteries quickly and properly.
  • Check other homes your children visit for possible access to button batteries: grandparents, family members, caregivers, and friends.

If you suspect that your child has swallowed a battery, go to the nearest emergency department immediately and call 9-1-1.

For more information, visit https://www.canada.ca/en/health-canada/services/toy-safety/battery-safety.html.

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