Small button batteries and magnets continue to injure and kill young children despite safety campaigns and product recalls. Two-year-old Brianna Florer died on 26 December after swallowing a small round button battery. Her grandfather told The Oklahoman Brianna felt unwell and when she threw up blood her parents called an ambulance. The family did not know the cause of her illness until an xray revealed she swallowed a button battery. Despite surgery, the young toddler lost her life.
Many household and personal devices use button batteries including remote controls, hearing aids and digital thermometers. The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) warns these batteries cause dangerous and potentially fatal chemical burns if swallowed. For ways to prevent children from swallowing these batteries, see the CPSC’s website.
In Texas, doctors removed nine round magnets from 2-year-old Ava Kendall reports KHOU news. After a four-hour surgery and stay in intensive care, Ava is expected to recover. Her father kept the magnetic balls, part of a gift he received, on his desk. Ava’s parents did not know of the dangers magnets posed.
The magnetic balls ingested by Ava Kendall are like those recalled by the Consumer Product Safety Commission. In 2014, the manufacturer of BuckyBalls, sets of small high-powered magnetic balls, recalled the sets as part of a settlement agreement with the CPSC. The recall followed numerous complaints of injuries following ingestion of these magnets.
From 2009 to 2013, nearly 3,000 emergency room visits resulted from people swallowing high-powered magnets according to the CPSC. These incidents led to the passage of a new safety standard for high-powered magnet sets in 2014. Under the new standard, “an individual magnet from a magnet set either must be large enough that the magnet does not fit into a CPSC small parts cylinder or the power of the magnetic force must be lower than a specified measure.“
For more information about these magnets and safety tips, go to the CPSC’s website and look at US moves to ban small magnets after child’s death. For general information on some dangerous products see Eight things about toy safety parents need to know this holiday season.
This article was first published on Examiner.com.