community newsletter from  the  Comprehensive Children's Injury Center at Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center
WINTER 2017-2018
Timely Topics

Keeping Watch for Button Batteries

While there are a variety of toys that are released each year, it always seems that children are drawn to the electronic toys the most. From light-up and musical toys to talking and moving toys - these are typically at the top of each child's wish lists.

While these may be great gifts for children, it is important to remember what provides the power for these items to work properly. Many of these toys use button batteries in varying sizes to bring these toys to life, however, these can be extremely harmful to a child. Because these batteries look similar to coins, beads, or other small objects, a child could easily swallow one by accident, should it have fallen out of the toy.

When a button battery gets stuck in a child's esophagus, the saliva triggers an electrical current that causes a chemical reaction, which can then burn the inside of the child's throat. Once this burning begins, the damage can continue even after the battery has been removed.

To prevent this type of injury in your home, be sure to follow these steps:
  • Keep loose button batteries locked up and away from children
  • As much as possible, keep all devices that use button batteries out of sight and reach of children as well.
    • These devices include remote controls, musical greeting cards, calculators, key fobs, holiday ornaments, cameras, and candles.
  • Should their toys use button batteries, place a piece of duct tape over the compartment to be sure the child cannot get to the batteries
Learn more from Safe Kids Worldwide on button batteries, symptoms of a possible ingestion, and what to do if you suspect a possible button battery ingestion.
Buying Age-Appropriate Toys

There is nothing like seeing a child's face light up when they see a toy they would really like to have. Even though it might make a cool noise, or light up in all kinds of colors, it's important to buy toys that are going to be appropriate for the child's age.

Many times the child is only looking at the obvious functions of the toy and overlook different parts that may end up causing harm. For example, there are a lot of toys out on the shelves now that are geared toward an older age group, but younger children may want to play with them. One of the problems with gifting these toys to the younger age children is that the toys may have small pieces that could be a potential choking hazard for toddlers. 

Therefore, as parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles, etc. go to shop for the children in their lives this holiday season, it is important to follow these few tips from Safe Kids Worldwide in selecting toys for them:
  • Consider the child's age when selecting a game or toy. It's worth a minute to read the instructions and warning labels to make sure it's just right for them
  • Before you've settled on the perfect toy for a young child, check to make sure there aren't any small parts or other potential choking hazards
  • Keep a special eye on small game pieces that may be choking hazards for young children. While these kinds of games are great for older kids, they can pose a potential danger for younger, curious siblings
For more information on toy safety, check out Safe Kids Worldwide's website.
Partner Spotlight
Ohio Buckles Buckeyes
The Ohio Buckles Buckeyes program is a statewide initiative to ensure Ohio's children are riding safely while in the car.

This program is funded though the Ohio Department of Health and is facilitated by coordinators in each of Ohio's eighty-eight counties. As stated on the program's website, the goal of this program is "to increase the availability of child safety seats for families who could not otherwise afford them and to increase correct installation and proper use of child safety seats." 

Each county site is given car seats a few times a year to distribute to low-income residents who are in need. When a family schedules an appointment to receive their car seat they also get education about how to use the car seat or booster seat properly, as well as learning how to install it into their vehicle. 

In the last five years, over 17,000 car seats and booster seats have been distributed as part of this program. We are honored here at Cincinnati Children's to be the Region 3 coordinators for this program - ensuring the children in our eight local counties (Adams, Brown, Butler, Clermont, Clinton, Hamilton, Highland and Warren) are riding safely!

For more information about our region's resources, check out this list.  
Promote Our Message
Ohio AAP Store It Safe Campaign
Last month, the Ohio Chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) kicked off its Store It Safe campaign. This particular program is centered around the importance of gun safety and keeping children safe from accidental firearm deaths .

Nationally, 1 out of 3 homes with kids has a firearm, and nearly 1.7 million kids live in a home with a loaded and unlocked firearm. In addition, an accidental firearm injury has occurred to a child in one-fourth of Ohio counties since 2015. However, evidence supports that safe firearm storage can prevent accidental shootings and adolescent suicides.

As we all make plans to visit with family and friends in their homes, or welcome guests into our own homes, it is important to remember to discuss gun safety, as well as other safety tips with children and family members alike to keep everyone safe from accidental injuries.
  • Firearms should always be stored out of sight and locked when not in immediate possession of the firearm owner. When a firearm is not on the body of its owner, it should always be stored in a lock box so children cannot access it. Even children as young as 3 years old can pull the trigger of a firearm. Also, older children can be curious and should not be able to access the owner's firearm.
  • Keep medicines and household cleaners out of your child's reach. Household products, medicines, and sharp objects should be stored locked in high places out of the child's sight and reach.
  • Check for hazards in homes your child may visit. Other homes, especially those with no children or older children, may pose hazards from poisonings, falls, pools, and firearms.
By following these quick tips, families can ensure their child's safety. For more information, please visit the Ohio Chapter AAP's page.
Quick Tips
Helpful Hints to Keep in Mind this Winter
Car Seat Checks 

Before you hit the roads this holiday season, it's important to make sure your child's car seat is properly installed. Click here to find a location near you and to schedule an appointment today! 
Drive Sober 

The holiday season can be filled with lots of food and festive drinks. That's why it is important to ensure you drive safe and if necessary, designate a sober driver if you plan to partake in the holiday festivities!
Car Service

Has your car been serviced recently to ensure it's safe for the upcoming winter weather? Check your tires to ensure they're properly inflated and top off all your fluids before hitting the road!
Expert Advice
Furniture Tip-Overs and Recalls
Ask An Expert
Mike Gittelman, MD
Emergency Medicine

Q: Why is it important to secure the furniture in your home?
A: As the NFL season is in full force, more families are watching their games on big screen televisions in the home setting. Although televisions are a form of entertainment, these items, along with home furniture, can pose a significant risks to children in the home.

TV and furniture tip overs are more common than one would think. According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, 1 child dies every 2 weeks from a television, furniture, or appliance falling on them. Deaths are only the tip of the iceberg. Data shows that 3 injuries occur every hour or 25,400 occur per year. Over the past 10 years, there has been a 31% increase in TV tip-over injuries.

80% of these injuries occur to children 1 - 5 years of age. They most commonly happen when an adventurous child climbs or pulls up on a large, unsteady object. Studies have shown that 70% of the time the item that falls is a large, screen television, 26% dressers or tables, and 4% appliances (eg. microwave oven). According to a study done by the Consumer Product Safety Commission, when a television falls from an average size dresser, it can fall with the force of thousands of pounds.  

These tragedies are easy to prevent by taking low cost steps to stabilize unsteady televisions and furniture. The CDC likes to sum up this effort as Anchor and Protect.
  • Check all televisions and furniture in your home for stability
  • Rearrange household items
    • Televisions should only be placed on furniture designed to hold them (eg. media stand)
    • Keep heavier items in lower drawers or shelves
    • Avoid keeping toys or remotes on dressers where children are tempted to climb
    • Keep cords hidden and unable to be pulled by children
    • Old school Cathode Ray Televisions (tube TVs) should be removed from the house if not being used
  • Secure furniture
    • Flat screen televisions that are not wall mounted should be anchored to the wall
    • Furniture in the home capable of tipping can be anchored with inexpensive anti-tip brackets. New furniture, such as dressers, should be sold with anti-tip devices
    • Read manufacturing instructions for dressers and televisions to secure them safely
Regrettably, there are sometimes safety concerns that arise after the product is already out on the shelves. Recently, IKEA recalled 29 million Malm dressers after they were found to result in 8 deaths and 36 injuries to children across the United States. Unfortunately, the communication efforts focused on anchoring a deadly dresser to the wall are not enough. Anchoring devices are meant as a second layer of protection for stable dressers - not as a replacement for making stable dressers in the first place. As a result, the CPSC is working with IKEA to spread the message. Read the AAP's group release for more information on this recall.  · 513-636-7865, "Option 1"