When a child swallows a button battery, the saliva triggers an electrical current. This causes a chemical reaction that can severely burn the esophagus in as little as two hours.
The scary part is that it may not be obvious at first that there is something wrong, since kids can still breathe and act normally after ingesting a battery, though it may seem like your child has a cold or flu.
Repairing the damage from battery ingestion is painful and often involves multiple surgeries. Even after a battery is removed, kids can experience terrible side effects to their vocal chords and windpipe.
Keep Button Batteries Out of Reach
Search your home, and any place your child goes, for gadgets that may contain coin-sized lithium batteries.
Keep coin lithium battery-controlled devices out of sight and reach of children. These include remote controls, singing greeting cards, digital scales, watches, hearing aids, thermometers, children’s toys, calculators, key fobs, flameless or tea light candles, flashing holiday jewelry or decorations all contain button batteries.
Keep loose batteries locked away, or place a piece of duct tape over the controller to secure the battery compartment.
Get Treatment Right Away
If you suspect your child has ingested a battery, go to the hospital immediately. Don’t induce vomiting or have your child eat or drink anything until assessed by a medical professional.
The symptoms may be tricky to recognize (they include coughing, drooling and discomfort), so if you have even the smallest doubt, don’t take any chances. Go to the emergency room right away.
Enter the National Battery Ingestion Hotline (202-625-3333) into your phone right now. Call anytime for additional treatment information.
Tell Your Family and Friends
Share this life-saving information with caregivers, friends, family members and sitters. It only takes a minute and could save a life.