Button Batteries

The number of serious injuries or deaths as a result of button batteries has increased in the last decade.

Despite their small size, lithium button batteries can cause serious injury and death in children if swallowed. Here we will check out symptoms to look out for, and what to do if you think your child may have swallowed a button battery.

Small round batteries are commonly called button, coin or disc batteries because of their appearance. These small shiny batteries are very attractive to inquisitive children and it can take just a split second for a child to swallow one.

As young children tend to put most of what they find laying around the house in their mouths, we often don’t know the hidden dangers in seemingly harmless items such as remote control devices and keyless remote door openers for vehicles.

What’s inside? Coin lithium batteries. You may know them as button batteries. These little silver-colored batteries power toys and electronics, to watches and musical greeting cards.

If your child has swallowed a button battery or placed one in the nose or ears, it can cause a serious injury or death.  If you suspect a battery lodged in the nose or ear, watch for pain or discharge, and do not use nose or ear drops until the child has been examined by a doctor. Most pass through the body and are expelled, but sometimes they get hung up in the esophagus. An electrical current can form in the body and hydroxide, an alkaline chemical, can cause tissue burns that can be fatal.

Warnings and industry safety standards have to be implemented by the electronics industry and battery manufacturers for this reason

Button battery ingestion symptoms:

The symptoms of battery ingestion include:

  • Vomiting
  • Abdominal pain
  • Fever
  • Diarrhea
  • Difficulty breathing and swallowing

What to do if your child ingests a battery:

  1. Don’t wait for signs or symptoms to show if you suspect your child swallowed a battery
  2. Call the POISONS INFORMATION HELPLINE (24HRS) – 0861-555-777
  3. If available, provide the battery identification number, found on the package or from a matching battery
  4. An x-ray must be obtained right away to be sure that the battery has gone through the esophagus into the stomach. If the battery remains in the esophagus, it must be removed. Most batteries move on to the stomach and can be allowed to pass by themselves.
  5. Do not induce vomiting.
  6. Do not allow your child to eat or drink until after the x-ray. If the battery has passed through the esophagus to the stomach, your child may eat or drink.
  7. Watch for physical symptoms, including fever, abdominal pain, vomiting, or blood in the stools or vomit, and report it as soon as these symptoms show.
  8. Check your child’s stools until you know the battery has passed.

How to prevent your child from swallowing batteries:

  • Search your home for devices that might contain button batteries. Do not allow children to play with toys or items containing these batteries unsupervised.
  • Save the Poisons Information Centre phone number into your mobile
  • Safely put battery-controlled toys and devices out of reach of children.
  • Keep loose batteries and replacement batteries locked away.
  • Dispose of used batteries immediately and safely.

If you think your child may have swallowed a button battery, call the poison control center – POISONS INFORMATION HELPLINE (24HRS) – 0861 555 777.

Experts at the poison center will need to know:

  • Your child’s approximate weight
  • Any medical conditions
  • Any medications they are taking
  • Click the link to go straight to the Paediatric Poisons Information Centre

    You Might Also Like

    Leave a Reply