There’s probably a hidden danger in your home that you don’t realize: lithium button batteries. I was shocked to find out just how many kids had swallowed these “button batteries”. In 2010 alone it was more than 3,400 children.
Button batteries are especially dangerous because the severe burning of the esophagus can occur after only 2 hours, and can last even after the battery is removed. Sometimes parents do not even realize what has happened since the child can still talk and breathe after ingesting. This video from the Safe Kids USA shows the shocking dangers of many gadgets we use every day.
Safe Kids USA offers the following tips:
- SEARCH your home, and any place your child goes, for gadgets that may contain coin lithium batteries.
- SECURE coin lithium battery-controlled devices out of sight and reach of children and keep loose batteries locked away.
- SHARE this life-saving information with caregivers, friends, family members and sitters.
In Case of Emergency
Keeping these batteries out of reach and secured in devices is key, but if a child swallows a battery, parents and caregivers should follow these steps:
- Go to the emergency room immediately. Tell doctors and nurses that your child may have swallowed a battery. If possible, provide the medical team with the identification number found on the battery’s package.
- Do not let the child eat or drink until a chest x-ray can determine if a battery is present.
- Do not induce vomiting.
- Call the National Battery Ingestion Hotline at 202-625-3333 for additional treatment information.
For more information on lithium button batteries, visit The Battery Controlled Campaign’s website.
Share this video and tips with friends and family who have children or may watch your children. It could help save a child from a life-threatening accident.
—Erica Surman, RN, BSN, Pediatric Trauma Program Manager