Did you know that each year, more than 3,500 swallowing cases of all sizes and types of button batteries are reported to the US poison control centers?

When a coin lithium battery gets stuck in a child’s throat, the saliva triggers an electrical current.  This causes a chemical reaction that can severely burn the esophagus in as little as two hours.

Damage can continue even after the battery is removed. Repairing the damage is painful and can require a feeding tube, breathing tube, and multiple surgeries. Spotting the problem is difficult. Children can usually breathe with the battery in their throat.

Symptoms are similar to other childhood illnesses such as coughing, drooling, and discomfort.

Kids under 4 are at the greatest risk. Many coin-sized button batteries can appear “invisible” to parents because devices come with the batteries already installed.

Your child is in very real danger if you do not guard these items safely since many contain button batteries. If swallowed, stuck in an ear or a nose, your child only has a couple of hours before permanent, even deadly, damage is done. Button batteries can be found in small remotes, car key fobs, mini remotes that control MP3 speakers, calculators, bathroom scales, reading lights, flameless candles, talking and singing books, singing greeting cards, watches, thermometers, hearing aids, flashing jewelry, ornaments, games, and toys.

Take a few minutes to place a piece of duct tape over the battery cover to prevent small children from accessing the battery. Make sure that your purse and the bags of visitors are stored securely away from a child’s reach.

Carefully review your home as well as the homes of any caregivers for possible dangers from devices with button batteries. Ensure that the devices are kept out of sight and reach of children. Share this life-saving information with caregivers, friends, family members, and sitters. It could save a life.

If you suspect your child has ingested a battery, go to the emergency room immediately and quickly make them aware of your situation. Don’t induce vomiting or have your child eat or drink anything until assessed by a medical professional.

Enter the National Poison Center Hotline (1-800-222-1222) into your phone right now. Call anytime for advice and treatment information.

Here is the link to a today.com story about this issue:  https://www.today.com/parents/mom-advocates-safer-button-batteries-after-daughter-s-death-t210198

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