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Accidental Ingestion of Button Batteries by Children

Children are naturally curious. They have a natural inclination to touch, taste, and smell everything they encounter as they learn—and, they love sticking things in their mouths when they’re little. Parents and guardians have the responsibility of teaching kids what is appropriate to eat and what isn’t, but sometimes kids can work fast, and things can get swallowed when an adult looks away for just a moment.

One of the newest swallowing hazards to look out for is button batteries. Button batteries are small, and often hard to notice if they’re missing. And although these batteries are small, they can do some considerable damage. In 2010, there were 3,400 children who swallowed button batteries, according to the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia—and ingesting these batteries can result in choking or burning.

Here’s what to do if your child has swallowed a button battery.

What Are Button Batteries?

Button batteries are the small round batteries that power a lot of the things that we use every day, including the following:

  • Remote controls
  • Thermometers
  • Games and toys
  • Hearing aids
  • Calculators
  • Bathroom scales
  • Key fobs
  • Electronic jewelry
  • Cameras
  • Holiday ornaments

How to Tell If Your Child Swallowed a Button Battery

If you find a toy or device with a battery missing and you think your child may have swallowed a battery, look for the following symptoms:

  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Fever
  • Coughing
  • Abdominal pain
  • Breathing problems
  • Diarrhea
  • Discolored or bloody stool (poop)
  • Irritability
  • Throat pain
  • Refusal to eat or drink

What Do I Do if My Child Has Swallowed a Button Battery?

If you suspect that your child has swallowed a button battery, the first thing that you should do is call 9-1-1 or go to the emergency room as soon as possible. Do not try to make your child throw up and do not allow your child to eat or drink anything until they have received medical treatment.

Upon arrival to the hospital, inform every doctor and nurse that you believe your child has swallowed a button battery and that they need to be X-rayed, and that it will need to be removed.

How Can I Prevent This from Happening?

The best way to prevent ingestion of button batteries is to properly childproof your home. Get on your hands and knees to see if there’s anything within reach of your young child that could be a choking hazard.

You should always maintain proper supervision of your child as well—and keep electronics out of sight so that they are not tempted to open it up and swallow a battery.

Did your child ingest a button battery in Georgia while under someone else’s watch? They may be held liable for their injuries. Call the Fry Law Team, personal injury attorneys, at 404.969.1284 for more information on pursuing legal action.

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