For Immediate Release: November 26, 2013

Safe Kids Urges Button Battery Awareness as Black Friday Approaches

Parents should inspect new battery-controlled devices, keep button batteries away from kids.

RALEIGH -- Insurance Commissioner Wayne Goodwin and Safe Kids North Carolina encourage parents and caregivers to keep safety in mind during the upcoming gift-giving season and help spread the word about the potential for injuries to children due to the ingestion of coin-sized, lithium batteries.

"Button" batteries are found in everyday devices, such as mini remote control devices that unlock car doors and control MP3 speakers; calculators; bathroom scales; reading lights; flameless candles; talking and singing books; and greeting cards. Because many of the devices that use button batteries are not children's toys, the battery compartments are easy to open. The coin-sized batteries can lodge in the throats of children, where they cause a chemical reaction that can severely burn the esophagus in as little as two hours. In some cases, children have died from injuries related to button batteries.

"Battery ingestion is a little-known but serious problem for the health and safety of our children," said Insurance Commissioner Wayne Goodwin, chair of Safe Kids North Carolina. "Young children often have easy access to devices that have button batteries, and many parents do not know there is a risk."

According to the National Capital Poison Center, more than 3,500 swallowing cases of button batteries are reported to poison control centers around the country each year. All deaths and 85 percent of major injuries occurred in children four years old and younger.

Tips for Parents and Caregivers

Learn more at www.thebatterycontrolled.com.

About Safe Kids North Carolina

Safe Kids North Carolina, a program housed in the North Carolina Department of Insurance, reaches out to parents, caregivers and children in 66 counties served by 38 coalitions across the state. Through these coalitions and partnerships, more than six million people have access to Safe Kids North Carolina programming. For more safety tips and information about Safe Kids North Carolina, visit www.ncsafekids.org .

--NCDOI--