Energizer is partnering with Safe Kids USA to raise awareness of button battery dangers.
The company wants to increase awareness of the lithium cell batteries that are shaped as a squat cylinder, about 5 to 12 mm in diameter and 1 to 6 mm high, as there has been a rise of fatal incidents of children swallowing the battery.
“The flat, coin-sized battery doesn’t typically cause choking, but it can get stuck in the esophagus and cause severe burning, leading to lifelong problems. In rare cases, children can bleed to death, said Dr. Toby Litovitz, director of the National Capital Poison Center.”
Safe Kids USA is the United States’ arm of the global network of Safe Kids Worldwide organizations, based in Washington DC. The organization has over 300 chapters and coalitions in all 50 states, Washington, D.C., Puerto Rico, and has positioned itself as an authority on unintentional childhood injury statistics and prevention. The mission is “to prevent accidental childhood injury.”
The battery-maker and Safe Kids USA plan to announce their partnership Wednesday. Eleven children have died after swallowing button batteries over the past six years, and the Poison Center said about 3,500 swallowing cases are reported annually in the U.S. The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission issued a warning about button batteries in March.
The batteries are found in the smallest electronics, such as key remotes, calculators, and hearing aids. However, they are also found in talking greeting cards and children’s talk along books.
“You could really say it’s an invisible threat,” said Stacey Harbour, director of marketing for Energizer. “Most of these devices are just so readily available and because the battery door isn’t secure, it just makes it very accessible to the child.”