Button Batteries Are Holiday Hazard

This is an archived article and the information in the article may be outdated. Please look at the time stamp on the story to see when it was last updated.

KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- Button batteries are in many products these days including toys, Christmas ornaments, musical and talking Christmas cards and books.  Little children can find them and swallow them.  Children's Mercy Hospital's emergency room sees around one child a week who's swallowed a button battery.

Dr. Jennifer Lowry, medical toxicologist at Children's Mercy Hospital, says the majority of children who swallow one will be fine.  But in some children, the battery gets stuck in the esophagus.   The chemicals in the battery can burn the tissue and cause perforations and even death.

Dr. Lowry encourages adults to keep batteries out of the reach of children.

"If you're going to change out one of the batteries, making sure you throw them away right away instead of just leaving them on the counter," she says.

The doctor also says to try to avoid buying toys that have button batteries.

If you suspect your child has swallowed a battery, call the poison control center at 1-800-222-1222.  In many cases, children will be referred to an emergency room.

The symptoms may include vomiting, pain and fever.  Those are symptoms with many other conditions, so it can be hard to diagnose.  And it can take less than two hours for a battery to cause a serious burn in the esophagus.  So prevention is best.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s