Energizer Awareness Batteries
September 14, 2011 by USA Post
Energizer Awareness Batteries, Serious and fatal incidents of children swallowing batteries button calls are increasing, and a leading battery manufacturer is hoping to raise awareness about the problem.
The flat, coin-sized battery usually does not cause choking, but can get stuck in the esophagus and cause severe burns, leading to lifelong problems. In rare cases, children can bleed to death, said Dr. Toby Litovitz, director of the National Capital Poison Control.
St. Louis, Energizer is joining an advocacy group for children’s safety alert parents and caregivers about the dangers of lithium button battery cell. The manufacturer of the battery and Safe Kids U.S. plan to announce their partnership on Wednesday.
The batteries are common in adult products that tend to get into the hands of young children – remote controls, electronic key chains, even singing greeting cards. Eleven children have died after swallowing a button battery in the last six years, and the Center for National Poison Capital, said that about 3,500 cases are reported annually swallowing in the U.S. U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission issued a warning about button batteries in March.
“You really could say it is an invisible threat,” said Stacey Harbour, director of marketing for Energizer. “Most of these devices are so readily available and because the battery cover is not secure, just makes it very accessible to the child.”
Karla Rauch was preparing a first birthday party of her son, Emmett, last October when he came down with a fever and began acting lethargic. She took him to an urgent care center and was told I had a cold or flu.
But days later, Emmett began to vomit blood. An x-ray is the button battery lodged in the esophagus. Rauch said that the battery out of a remote control I had left in the ground. When Emmett have ahold of it, the battery broke right.
Almost a year later, Emmett has undergone 14 operations to repair holes in the esophagus and other damage caused by the battery. He is relearning how to swallow and suffer from chronic lung problems.
“He’s a fighter,” said Karla Rauch. “We just keep fighting with him.”
Litovitz said that serious and fatal injuries swallowing have risen sevenfold since 1985. Part of the reason is the increasing use of lithium, which provides more power in the batteries, but also more dangerous if ingested, Litovitz said.
“I think the father is unknowingly, thinking of the normal household products are safe for their children, and they do not,” said Litovitz.
Manufacturers of toys and other products designed for children must meet certain standards to ensure the batteries are easily removed – such as requiring a screw to attach the battery cover. These requirements do not exist for products intended for adults, although children often can get their hands on them.
For example, Meri-K Appy, president of U.S. child safety, said that the batteries are used in bathroom scales, which are easily accessible to children crawling on the floor. Parents sometimes give the car keys to children to play with – and often key chain contains a ring to open the doors of the car that runs on the small battery.
The Energizer / Safe Kids U.S. effort encourages parents and caregivers to keep the batteries and devices containing batteries out of reach of children and to ensure that the battery compartment is secure. Treatment Tips will be distributed through the U.S. 600 children Security chapters.
Energizer is also developing new packaging for its button cells is more difficult for children to open.
Kurt Iverson, a spokeswoman for Duracell, Energizer is the main competitor, said his company promotes the safety of the battery through a variety of media including social media.
“Without doubt, encourage people to keep the batteries in the pack until ready to use,” he said. “It’s just part of the baby-proof, and the batteries have a place also.”
Rauch and her husband are working with Energizer and U.S. Security children to spread the word about button battery, and she and her husband are planning a non-profit organization to help educate parents.
“We can not control what happened to Emmett, but we can help prevent other families,” he said.
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