Though rechargeable hearing aids are becoming increasingly popular, the vast majority of hearing aids still take disposable button batteries. These are essential for helping you hear well in complex listening environments, but there are some things you need to keep in mind in terms of safety. We review tips below.
Button Batteries Can Be Dangerous
Disposable button batteries, like other batteries, contain heavy metals including mercury, silver and lithium. If these chemicals come into contact with body fluids, it creates an electrical current that can burn through tissue and damage internal organs. If you handle a leaky battery, it can cause skin burns as well. This is true whether the battery has a full charge or not.
If Someone Swallows a Button Battery…
If someone swallows a button battery, this is a medical emergency; do not attempt first aid at home. Instead, take them immediately to the emergency room. If the person is over one year old, you can give them two teaspoon of honey every 10 minutes until you reach the ER in order to slow the development of an internal burn.
If you’re unsure if your small child or older adult swallowed a battery, look for the signs, including wheezing, drooling, vomiting, chest discomfort, difficulty swallowing and gagging.
Storing Button Batteries Safely
Follow our tips below to safely store a button battery:
- Invest in a container with a snap-tight lid to store them in.
- Put the container on a high shelf or in a locking drawer so children and pets can’t get ahold of them.
- Keep your button batteries at room temperature; don’t store them in the fridge or freezer. The idea this would extend battery life is a myth.
- Don’t store your button batteries next to metal objects, like coins and keys, as this can cause them to leak.
- Don’t store your batteries near medications, or they may accidentally be swallowed.
Disposing of Button Batteries Safely
You shouldn’t throw dead button batteries in your trash can, as children and pets can get into it. In addition, batteries contaminate landfills. Instead, keep them in a container with a snap-tight lid until you can take them to MarBorg Recycling Center.
For more information or to schedule an appointment with a hearing aid expert, call Hearing Services of Santa Barbara today.