The ER episode you never saw on TV

By Jeremy Meltingtallow

This is a really helpful article from Parents magazine (www.parents.com): In Case of Emergency: 11 Ways to Make the ER Less Stressful.

My wife and I can attest to suggestion #2, “Let Your Pediatrician Pave the Way.” When our first daughter was very young, we thought she’d swallowed a battery from a toy. There she was sitting in the middle of the kitchen with the open toy, and two AA batteries.

The toy used three.

Darryl and Wanda try to find out what Zoe swallowed. August 4, 1992

My wife and I sprang into action. We frantically searched the kitchen for the missing battery, but came up empty-handed. I had the bright idea of handing her one of the remaining batteries to see what she’d do with it.

“Where’s the battery?” my wife said.

Our child took the battery and immediately went for her mouth. Horrified, we snatched it from her and my wife called the pediatrician. He advised us to take her to the ER right away, and he called the ER to notify them.

Calling the pediatrician first helped at the ER. As we raced through the doors, the nurse at receiving was waiting for us with the note scrawled on her hand.  She approached us in the waiting room: “Kirkman, child swallowed battery?”

Heads turned. I’m sure that conjured up images of our daughter with a DieHard in her tummy. (Shameless promotion: you can see a couple strips that came from that episode in BBXX, due out November 13th).

Back to the article. The advice is definitely worth a look. It will serve you well if you can recall any of it should you have to make a run to the Emergency Room. Anything to take some of the stress from that situation is a good thing.

And by the way, x-rays showed no sign of a battery in our daughter.

Later, we conducted a calmer, more thorough search. We found a single AA battery under the refrigerator.