How to keep children safe from their toy’s batteries?
Photo by Lisa Fotios
Batteries are essential to many children’s toys but can also be dangerous if not handled properly. As parents, you need to keep your children safe from harm. One of the dangers that many parents may not think about is the potential for battery leakage from children’s toys.
Install battery covers on all toys
Kids love to put things in their mouths. They’ll chew on anything they can get their hands on, from their fingers to their favorite toy. And while most toys are safe to chew on, battery-operated toys can pose a serious health hazard.
If a child can get their hands on a toy’s battery, they could easily swallow it. Once the battery is in the stomach, it will begin to leak a battery electrolyte, which can cause burns and severe health complications.
Battery covers help to prevent this type of accident by keeping children from being able to access the batteries in the first place.
Supervise children when they are playing with toys
Parents and guardians should closely monitor children when playing with toys. If the child drops the toy, it could break and cause cuts or other injuries. And if the child mishandles the toy, it could malfunction and cause electrical shocks or burns. These injuries could be serious, so it’s important to supervise children when playing with toys closely.
Educate your children about the dangers of toy batteries
Let your children know that batteries are not something to be played with and should only be handled by adults. Show them how to insert and remove batteries from their toys properly. And explain to them the dangers of swallowing batteries. Educating your children about the dangers of toy batteries can help keep them safe from harm.
Check toys for loose parts that could be swallowed
Small parts can easily become detached from toys; if swallowed, they could cause choking or other health problems. Inspect your child’s toys regularly for any loose parts; if you find any, remove them and dispose of them properly.
Dispose of batteries properly
When batteries die, it’s important to dispose of them properly. Do not simply throw them in the trash; instead, take them to a recycling center or hazardous waste facility. You can purchase a battery disposal kit if you don’t have access to a recycling center or hazardous waste facility.
Keep toys clean and in good working condition
Wipe down toys with a clean, damp cloth regularly. Inspect them for any signs of damage, such as cracks or sharp edges. And if a toy stops working, don’t try to fix it; instead, throw it away and buy a new one. Keeping toys clean and in good working condition can help prevent injuries.
Inspect used toys before giving them to your children
If you consider giving your child a used toy, inspect it first. Look for any signs of damage, such as cracks or sharp edges. If the toy is battery-operated, ensure there are no loose batteries inside. And if the toy has any small parts, ensure they are securely attached.
Be aware of recalls
Toys can be recalled for various reasons, such as safety hazards or manufacturing defects. If a toy you own has been recalled, stop using it immediately and contact the manufacturer for instructions on how to return it. You can also check the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission website for a list of recalled toys.
Choose age-appropriate toys for your children
Toys that are too advanced for a child can be confusing and frustrating, while toys that are too simple can be boring. Choose appropriate toys for your child’s age, interests, and abilities.
Consider the child’s developmental level when choosing toys. For example, a toy that requires manual dexterity may be too difficult for a child who is not yet able to grasp small objects. Avoid giving battery-operated toys to children with special needs.
According to the National Safety Council, more than 3,500 children are treated in emergency rooms yearly for injuries caused by swallowed batteries. While most of these battery-related injuries are minor, some can be life-threatening. You should ensure that you control the child’s playtime for safety.