ELECTRONIC GADGETS POSE SAFETY RISK

“Batteries Shown to Pose Risks for Kids,”  Anna Wilde Matthews, Wall Street Journal, 5/14/12.

ELECTRONIC GADGETS BELONGING TO PARENTS

Babies love to hold and play with objects that are part of the every day life activities of mom and dad.  These objects include remote controls, cameras, watches, and cell phones.   Parents often smile as they watch their little babies hold the cell phone to their ears or try and push the buttons on the remote.  However, a recent Wall Street Journal article warns that these electronic gadgets contain batteries which pose potential safety risks to babies and children.  The number of visits to the emergency room stemming from batteries put in noses, ears, or mouths is rising across America.

ELECTRONIC TOYS IN THE NURSERY & BEDROOMS

The rapid increase in electronics includes a proliferation of electronic toys for children and babies.  Nurseries and bedrooms of older siblings abound with blinking, flashing, and vibrating toys that entertain because of a battery.  Babies don’t understand how life threatening a battery can be.  Please supervise all use of electronic equipment.  Better yet, limit the number of electronic toys in the home and choose instead the toys that encourage developmental play and foster motor skill development.

EMERGENCY ROOM VISITS: ACCIDENTS WITH BATTERIES

The journal Pediatrics published a new study which found that the number of visits to the emergency room by children under the age of 18 doubled between 1990 and 2009.  In 2009 the number of children 5 and under swallowing the button shaped batteries was 10.1 per 100,000.  Research has highlighted the dangers of these button batteries which are small and shaped like a shirt button.  Swallowing batteries is potentially life threatening because it can become lodged in the esophagus and can give off electricity which can kill nearby tissue within two hours, according to Gary A. Smith, an author of the study and director of the Center for Injury Research and Policy at Nationwide Children’s Hospital in Columbus, Ohio.  Stellar Caterpillar suggests parents add to their baby-proofing list locking all battery-containing devices in a drawer or cupboard.

SOME ELECTRONIC OBJECTS TO KEEP OUT OF REACH:

  • electronic toys
  • remote controls
  • watches
  • cameras
  • cell phones
  • hearing aids
  • calculators
  • flashlights

 

For more in our series on babies and technology please read “TV and Babies,” “Baby Toys:  Unplugged vs. Electronic,” and “Baby Books:  E-Books on iPads.”

2 Responses to ELECTRONIC GADGETS POSE SAFETY RISK

  1. Hi D.G.:
    Yes, it is possible that the iPad is causing his eyes to be irritated. When the eyes stare for a period of time they fatigue or possibly get a bit dry contributing to his need to rub them. The easy option here it to give him a break from the iPad and see if the eyes improve. Mention this to your pediatrician as well to see if he wants to recommend any drops for your child’s eyes.

  2. Hi,
    Glad to read your article, I agree with you. My kid is only 3 years old. I bought an iPad and sometimes when I go to work he plays with the iPad. Recently I find he always rubs his eyes, and I wonder if the iPad could cause this side effect?

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