Small, shiny and deadly

Toys and Gadgets

Nearly all toys for infants and early years children seem to need a battery to make them work, very often coin batteries.

So it’s important to make sure the batteries are all safely fitted and secured before the Christmas morning rush to unwrap presents.

Christmas Eve

Anyone who’s had children will know that late night session wrapping up all those presents.

Rolls of foil wrap, uncontrollable sticky tape and trying to write legibly on the gift tags while well lubricated with mulled wine and mince pies.

It’s easy to forget putting the batteries in these toys and devices, or maybe you don’t want to open the packaging before the children have the chance.

Leaving it until Christmas morning, when you open the presents  could be a dangerous strategy.

Because you’re distracted, lots of things going on and several children looking for attention, things happen.

They want to get on with using their toys. The batteries are fiddly and easily lost in the sea of ripped wrapping paper.

Exploring a new world

All young children explore their surroundings, sucking, licking and tasting everything that they can fit in their mouths. Experiencing the flavours and textures associated with the new world they find themselves in.baby secure battery pack

Tiny, shiny, silver coin batteries look inviting, so from a child’s viewpoint. It takes a fraction of a second to lift a carelessly discarded or misplaced button battery into their mouth and potentially swallow it.

Maybe, they’ve seen an older sibling with one of the foil encased chocolate coins we hang on the Christmas Tree. They’re unaware the older child has discarded the foil and only eaten the chocolate filling.

Encouraged by this, a toddler may try one of these bright shiny coins, copying the older child by slipping it into their mouth.

This is why it’s so important that coin batteries are only handled by responsible adults.

Coin Batteries Powerplay

If you’ve bought a gift which needs power from these tiny objects. Always ensure the battery is secured behind a casing with a locking screw or child-proof clip. If it doesn’t have one the toy or game is not safe and is not approved by the UK standards authorities.toy with screw battery cover

Many types of devices have coin batteries inside, but because you don’t regard them as toys the covers are only slide locked. Some of the less secure items are bathroom and kitchen scales or remote controls and key fobs which come with less secure means of locking the battery inside.

Small, shiny and deadly

Keeping any batteries, especially coin batteries, in a safe locked drawer or in a high cupboard, makes sense. You should also keep unused and sealed packs out of reach. Once they’re dead you should put them in a secure place until they can be safely disposed of.

The scariest part, and one not always considered, is that even when the batteries are dead, they can still do the same damage; the little residual power left can still be enough to kill.

These batteries are truly dangerous. They can kill a child in hours, or do the most horrendous internal damage, resulting in life changing consequences.

And never forget coin batteries are a choking risk too.

Make sure all your devices and toys are safe.

The should have either the CE mark or UKCA mark printed or moulded into the product.CE mark on battery cover

Also look for a UK address on the product. A UK address means someone company is taking responsibility for the importation of the goods and that it is compliant with UK safety regulations.

For more information listen to the Child Accident Prevention Trust webinar about dangerous toys here.

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