For Immediate Release: December 16, 2011

Safe Kids NC Warns of Battery Ingestion Dangers

"The Battery Controlled" program aims to save children's lives by raising awareness

RALEIGH -- Insurance Commissioner and State Fire Marshal Wayne Goodwin today announced a critical partnership between the 36 coalitions of Safe Kids North Carolina, Safe Kids USA and Energizer to educate parents, caregivers, local safety advocates and the medical community about the potential risks of coin-sized, lithium batteries.

"As we approach the holidays, many families will be bringing more electronic gadgets into their homes, and they can bring danger in the form of the coin-sized batteries that power them," said Goodwin, chair of Safe Kids North Carolina. "By spreading the word about the danger these batteries pose to our children, North Carolinians can help save lives and prevent injuries."

Coin-sized button batteries can lodge in children's throats, where saliva triggers an electrical current that can burn the esophagus in as little as two hours. In some cases, children have died from their injuries. The number of cases where children have been seriously hurt or have died has more than quadrupled in the past five years (2006-2010) compared to the five years prior (2001-2005). In 2010 alone, there were more than 3,400 swallowing cases reported in the United States, according to the National Capital Poison Center.

The formation of "The Battery Controlled" program by Safe Kids USA and Energizer shines a light on this growing issue and provides easy steps that parents and caregivers can take to prevent injuries and death to children.

Where the Risk Hides

Coin-sized button batteries, approximately the size of a nickel, are found in everyday devices, such as:

Preventive Steps for Parents and Caregivers

Videos, tip sheets and more information can be found by clicking on this link.

About Safe Kids North Carolina

Safe Kids North Carolina reaches out to parents, caregivers and children to prevent childhood injuries through 36 Safe Kids coalitions serving more than 64 counties. For more information, visit the Safe Kids Web site.