Popular online doctor, Harvey Olufunmilayo has advised against leaving batteries lying around in the house to prevent kids from swallowing them.
His latest exposition which will certain pass as befitting for the children’s day celebration revealed some of the damages the battery can have on a child once swallowed. It can cause throat burn and can also burn major blood vessels. He advised that victims of such circumstance should be rushed to the hospital immediately the battery is swallowed.
Why are batteries dangerous if swallowed?
“This is because the battery itself reacts with bodily fluids, such as mucus or saliva. That reaction creates a circuit that releases a substance just like caustic soda, which is a strong alkali that can burn a hole through the throat.
“This hole in the throat can create a channel (fistula) between the oesophagus and trachea (windpipe). It may destroy the vocal cords.
“It may also burn through the blood vessels in the chest, like the aorta (main blood vessel leading from the heart)- causing massive bleeding”, he tweeted.
This hole in the throat can create a channel (fistula) between the oesophagus and trachea (windpipe).— #OurFavOnlineDoc 🛂 (@DrOlufunmilayo) May 27, 2020
It may destroy the vocal cords.
It may also burn through the blood vessels in the chest, like the aorta (main blood vessel leading from the heart)- causing massive bleeding.
So what do I do if my child swallowed a battery?
Dr Olufunmilayo advise against giving the child anything to drink or eat. The child should not be forced to vomit the battery as well as it would cause more damage to the throat as the battery comes back up. The only action to be taken is to rush the child to the hospital.
What happens at hospital?
“Doctors will do an X-ray to locate the battery and estimate the size. They can then use a flexible tube with camera at the end to pull out the battery.
“All this will be done by specialists as an emergency procedure while the child is put to sleep”, he explained.
How can I prevent kids from swallowing batteries?
- Keep new unused batteries in their original package out of sight and reach of children. Keep them on top of shelves that kids can’t reach or get to.
- Use a tape to seal battery compartments of watches, remote control etc
- Only buy your toys and equipment from reliable sources – they are more likely to have passed safety regulations.
- When a battery has died, please throw it away safely straightaway. Do NOT keep old batteries at home or anywhere kids may get to. Always dispose them properly.
- Please do not put old used batteries in the general house dustbin. Put them in special disposal containers and ask the waste management people on how to safely dispose them.
He noted that Many supermarkets also have battery disposal bins for such purposes. Alternatively, batteries can be disposed of in such bins specifically meant for that.