Most parents share a common fear – the fear that their infant or toddler might accidentally swallow something that can be a choking hazard or poisonous (deadly!). I know that was a huge fear of mine when my kids were little. I would hide my daughter’s Barbie shoes and accessories so that my son wouldn’t accidentally swallow them. I wouldn’t let my daughter play with Polly Pocket in fear that the tiny pieces might become a snack for my son.
As cautious as I was my son still managed to swallow something he shouldn’t have – a marble! I can’t even begin to tell you how panicked my husband and I were when we found out. The doctor said as long as he wasn’t in pain or having a hard time breathing he was fine. As far as we know the marble never passed which makes us wonder if that glass marble is still lodged somewhere in his system.
I didn’t know that many children were swallowing button and coin sized batteries. I would never leave any items with batteries around for my children to get a hold of when they were younger. Apparently many children are finding ways of opening up new packages of batteries and swallowing them. That is horrible! THANKFULLY Energizer has come up with a solution.
I don’t normally post press releases but I feel that this one is very important, especially for parents, grandparents and those who work with young children.
Today, Energizer announces a significant packaging improvement designed to reduce the occurrence of ingestions of coin-sized button batteries by children and the associated medical complications. The innovative new packaging, coming soon to store shelves nationwide, is made from more durable and flexible materials that make it very difficult for young children to open.* In addition to deterring children from getting into the package, Energizer has added easily understood icons on the front of the package to let parents know to keep the batteries away from small children, along with detailed warning copy advising of the danger of ingesting coin cell batteries and how to get help if they are swallowed. Once an adult has opened the package, they’ll see a warning sticker on the back of the battery itself (with a tab for easy removal) that further reinforces the safety message. While the transition at retail may take some time, it is fully expected to be complete prior to the upcoming Holiday season.
Coin-sized button batteries are common household batteries that can be used safely to power everyday devices such as small remote controls, watches, calculators, flameless candles, car key fobs, talking greeting cards and other gadgets that small children often like to play with. The problem occurs if a child accesses the batteries and swallows one, which can lead to serious injury and even death.
“The incidence and severity of button cell battery ingestion is on the rise and not only did we want to bring visibility to what is an invisible threat in many homes, but we made a commitment to work toward both technology and packaging solutions that can save lives,” said Stacey Harbour, Energizer Director of Marketing, U.S. Batteries. “The new child-resistant packaging can help prevent ingestion and is a big step in the right direction.”
In addition to a dedicated effort to improve both coin battery packaging and warnings associated to the batteries, Energizer has been leading positive change in this arena through additional research, advocacy and educational efforts. The company supports the National Capital Poison Center to research issues to prevent and treat battery ingestion and help consumers and doctors treat battery ingestion emergencies. The Center also advocates for other electronics companies to address the problem by developing child-resistant battery compartments. Most significantly, Energizer partnered with Safe Kids USA, a leader in the field of child safety, to launch The Battery Controlled. This campaign is raising awareness through advertising, printed materials and videos with important prevention and treatment tips for parents, caregivers, safety advocates and the medical community.
“While children usually swallow coin cell batteries they obtain directly from products or find left out or discarded, child-resistant packaging that meets the strict CPSC regulations has the potential to eliminate up to 11 percent of coin cell battery ingestions,” said Dr. Toby Litovitz of the National Capital Poison Center, a key advisor for The Battery Controlled. “It’s positive to see Energizer take a leadership position on this, and we hope this effort mobilizes all device and battery companies to identify and implement ways to reduce both the incidence of battery ingestion and the severity of the damage that can occur when these cells are swallowed.”
For more information about Energizer® coin lithium button batteries, visit www.Energizer.com.
For more information about the risks of ingesting coin lithium batteries and the steps to prevent and treat the problem, visit www.TheBatteryControlled.com.
*Meets Consumer Product Safety Commission guidelines for child-resistant packaging.
Even though my kids are older now and not a risk for putting batteries in thier mouths, I am still grateful that Energizer is doing their part to protect children. I hope that all battery companies follow Energizer and provide safety packaging for their batteries too.
*I was not compensated for this post. I posted this for the benefit of my site readers. Any opinions expressed are my own and are not influenced in any way.