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Dangers of Batteries to Children

by David Anthony (follow)
David Anthony. Writer and Publisher. Port Stephens, Australia
Safety (23)      Health (60)      Toys (31)      Home (6)     
Children love to explore. Their curiosity is admirable but not so much when they find something new and decide to put their minds to it.

Electronic devices are becoming smaller, sleeker. There are remote controls for everything and what do they run on? Batteries.

Children love to take them in their hands and pull them apart, exposing the danger inside.

Try not to hold that against them, this is part of their natural growth and learning process.

However, as batteries contain toxic chemicals that can be harmful for anyone if ingested.

It is important that parents know and are aware of the kind of dangers that can result from the different kind of batteries.

NiCad is the chemical abbreviation for the composition of Nickel-Cadmium batteries, which are a type of secondary (rechargeable) batteries. Nickel-Cadmium batteries contain the chemicals Nickel (Ni) and Cadmium (Cd), in various forms and compositions.

These batteries are well known as rechargeable battery technology, used by several electronic equipment, such as laptop computers, cell phones, cordless phones, old motherboards, etc.

Child with Remote
Source: www.stockfreeimages.com

Disassembling Nickel Cadmium batteries can cause an internal or external short circuit, result in exposed material or the battery may react chemically with the air and result in a hazard.

It may also cause heat generation, bursting and fire. Also, this is dangerous as it may cause splashing of alkaline fluid.

Proper Disposal

There are Protective devices to prevent danger are built into batteries (single cell or packed cells). If these are damaged, excessive current flow may cause loss of control during charging or discharging of the battery, leakage of battery fluid, heat generation, bursting and fire.

However, as a preventative to the kinds of hazards that these batteries impose, it is best to find a reliable disposal centre. Newcastle Batteries can give advice on proper disposal and for recylcing you can visit your nearest recycling centre.

A lithium-ion battery (sometimes Li-ion battery or LIB) is a member of a family of rechargeable battery types in which lithium ions move from the negative electrode to the positive electrode during discharge and back when charging.

Child with Remote
Source: David Anthony, 2016

Lithium batteries are also known for their rechargeable qualities. There is a high usage of lithium-ion in cell phones, digital cameras and laptops which mean that they are almost everywhere.

Button cell batteries are attractive to small children and often ingested, as was sadly reported in July 2015 by the death of a four year old girl

The primary mechanism of injury with button battery ingestions is the generation of hydroxide ions, which cause severe chemical burns, at the anode.

This is an electrochemical effect of the intact battery, and does not require the casing to be breached or the contents released.

Regulations for disposal and recycling of batteries vary widely.

However, in order to protect consumers from the unintentional harms of these batteries, there is an inclusion of various safety mechanisms within the cell and an addition of an electronic protection circuit in the battery pack.


The lead–acid battery is the oldest type of rechargeable battery. Despite having a very low energy-to-weight ratio and a low energy-to-volume ratio, its ability to supply high surge currents means that the cells have a relatively large power-to-weight ratio.

These are widely used for storage in backup power supplies in cell phone towers, high-availability settings like hospitals, and stand-alone power systems.

Although these batteries come with a protective covering, excessive levels of lead can affect a child’s growth, cause brain damage, harm kidneys, impair hearing and induce behavioral problems.

If you suspect your child has ingested a battery, go to the hospital immediately. Wait for a medical assessment before allowing the child to eat and drink.

Related Articles

Editor will add in a couple of related articles here. If you have an article you want linked in at the end, please let your Editor know.

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