Getting Serious for a Minute

Mar 3rd

What would you do if you saw this in your baby’s diaper?

Would you panic?  I did.  Monday morning, I jokingly tweeted about Timothy making a present in his diaper for me.  When I changed him a few minutes later, what I found made my heart stop.  Time slowed down.  I had no idea what to do.  I texted Jamie and immediately went online to see what I should do.  After a quick search, I located the numbers for Poison Control and got on the phone with them, my doctor, and the National Button Battery Ingestion Hotline.

Timothy’s doctor asked us to come in immediately in order to give him a thorough examination and then we were sent to get a chest x-ray to make sure all of the battery had passed.

But were we in the clear?

Button batteries pose a huge health risk and can carry potentially life-threatening complications.  I’ve been in close contact with the parents of Hazel, a sweet little girl who nearly lost her life when it was discovered that a button battery had lodged in her esophagus.  They are now strong advocates for button battery safety and encouraged me to have further tests done on Timothy to make sure that there was no damage done if the battery he swallowed was stuck in his throat for any amount of time.  According to research, even discharged button batteries can cause tissue damage after two hours.  Complications may not present immediately and there have been cases where children were sent home after the battery was removed, only to hemorrhage after several days of home care.

Where did Timothy’s battery come from?  I don’t know.  He has three older brothers who have numerous toys that contain batteries.  I know for a fact that there are a couple of those stupid talking greeting cards floating around the house.  You can bet I’ve been making thorough sweeps of my home to make sure there aren’t any more of those batteries hanging out where little hands can get them.  To a baby, that little battery looks like a nice, shiny Cheerio!  And Timothy loves Cheerios.

Coincidentally, The CBS Early Show had a segment this morning about the dangers of button batteries:

Watch CBS News Videos Online

It’s hard not to beat myself up about this, but I am so thankful that Timothy’s tests came back clear. Other families haven’t been so lucky. Sure, as mothers, we have so much to worry about, but I urge you to take a few minutes to double check those toys and electronic devices to make sure the batteries are secure. Keep remotes and things of that sort out of reach of your toddlers. It could save their lives.

If you believe your child has ingested a button battery, call the National Button Battery Ingestion Hotline immediately.  They are available 24 hours a day.  202-625-3333

{x-posted on BlogHer}

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