The best part of the holidays is getting together with friends and family. But as you welcome children and pets into your home, remember to keep your hearing aids and hearing aid batteries safely out of reach.
Hearing aids and batteries can attract pets and small children
One thing young children and pets have in common is that they like to explore the world with their mouths. For pets, hearing aids may appear to be tempting toys, especially if they are left on and whistling. To very young kids, a pair of modern-day, brightly colored hearing aids or button-sized hearing aid batteries might look like candy.
Hearing aid batteries can be deadly if swallowed
More likely than not, an accidentally swallowed hearing aid battery will pass through an animal or a child’s digestive system whole, and generally poses no danger. But serious problems can occur if the battery lodges in the esophagus, or if the pet or child has bitten into the battery. The leaked chemicals from the battery can seriously burn the esophagus. If not treated in a timely manner, swallowing a hearing aid battery can be life-threatening.
Hearing aids are expensive to replace
Thankfully these medical emergencies are rare. Nevertheless, almost every hearing care professional can tell you about patients who brought in a hearing aid broken into tiny pieces that they wrestled out of their dogs’ mouths. Even if the damaged aid is within the warranty period, it could still cost hundreds of dollars to replace.
The best place to store hearing aids and batteries are in drawers or cabinets with doors that pets and small children cannot reach. Many people like to keep their hearing aids on the bathroom counter-top or bedroom dresser. But hearing aids or batteries left on such open surfaces can be accidentally knocked onto the floor where they become targets for curious pets and toddlers. It’s also important to keep them far away from spaces where you keep foods and medication in order to prevent confusion. Even adults have been known to accidentally pop a hearing aid in their mouth instead of the nut or candy they intended.
Just as you would keep your cleaning supplies and other dangerous household items away from young children and pets, hearing aids and batteries should also be carefully stored to prevent dangerous accidents, as well as avoidable expenses. Also, don’t discard your used hearing aid batteries in trash cans where animals could get to them. When it comes to hearing aids, the old adage that an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure definitely holds true.