Button Batteries & Kids: Safety Precautions & Symptoms of Battery Ingestion in Children by Dr. Josephine Dlugopolski - Gach
One of the most heartbreaking things I’ve seen as a pediatrician is the destruction to a child’s digestive system from a button battery. Though they are small, they need to be taken seriously. There are kids who have had to have their esophagus completely removed because of the damage. Unfortunately, the number of children who are injured or die from button batteries is on the rise, increasing over nine-fold in the last decade.
When a child swallows a button battery, their saliva triggers an electrical current that can burn the esophagus. If you have items that use button batteries that you access often, such as a remote, put a piece of duct tape over the battery compartment to secure it. If the tape has been ripped, it also will be a warning that your child may have tampered with it. Extra button batteries should be kept in a locked drawer so children can’t access them. Keep an eye on kids, and keep button batteries out of reach.
If you suspect your child has ingested a battery, go to the emergency room immediately. If a child has swallowed a button battery, it might not be obvious at first because kids can still breathe after ingesting one. Symptoms include:
It may seem like your child has a cold or the flu. Though initial symptoms may seem minor, life-threatening damage happens quickly. If you have even the smallest doubt, don’t take any chances and go to the emergency room right away. Don’t induce vomiting or allow your child to eat or drink anything until assessed by a medical professional.
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