Button cell/batteries are small round cells that can be found in everything like greeting cards, children’s books, remote controls, bathroom scales, calculators, cameras, games and playing toys but when swallowed, these batteries can be hazardous to a child’s health.
Coin sized lithium batteries possess a strong electrical charge when out of the electronic unit. If swallowed by children they become in food pipe and react quickly with saliva. This reaction causes injury to the soft tissue and can result in serious injury in just 2 hours.
The button battery is a hazardous material and should be treated as a life-threatening foreign body due to its electrochemical composition and the potential for severe injury if swallowed. Seek medical care immediately for all children under 12 years of age who ingest button batteries. The size of the battery and presence of symptoms cannot be used to reliably detect batteries lodged in the esophagus in these patients. Prompt removal of the button battery is very important due to the amount of damage it can cause inside the body.
Why these tiny batteries so dangerous?
For starters, they are just the right size for children to swallow. All the batteries are dangerous when swallowed but button batteries are small enough that they can become logged in the throat without totally obstructing a child’s airway.
“When a coin gets stuck, it often passes on its own but when a battery gets stuck, the battery acid can eat through the wall of the esophagus, causing life long disability”.
You will find one or some of the following symptoms, if child has swallowed button cell:
- Abdominal Pain
- Chest Pain
- Blood in stools
The researchers also call on manufacturers to create child resistant measures to secure the battery compartment on everyday household products and create industary standards that would require warning labels to help reduce battery ingestion.
Womenz.in has this advice they want every parent to know and share with other parents.
- Examine devices and make sure the battery compartment is secure
- Keep coin sized button batteries and devices out of sight and out of reach of small children
- Dispose of old button batteries immediately
- If swallowing of a button battery is suspected, go to an emergency department immediately
- Tell others about this threat and share about these steps.
What to do if your toddler swallowed a button battery?
Rush to hospital immediately. 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. Don’t induce vomiting and don’t allow your child to eat or drink until the x-ray shows the battery is beyond the esophagus. Watch for fever, abdominal pain, vomiting, or blood in the stools or vomit. Check the stools until the battery has passed.
These days so many cases are happening around us and are increasing day by day due to un-awareness of parents of its dangerous effects. We have discussed one of the case below:
On the day after Christmas, Brianna Florer was happily opening Christmas presents at her grandparents’ house. By the following night, the 2-year-old was dead — because she swallowed a silver button battery.
“On Saturday she was fine,” her grandfather Kent Vice told The Oklahoman. “It was a perfect Christmas.”
But for a couple days, the Jay, Oklahoma, toddler had been unwell: throwing up and running a low fever, the Oklahoman reports. Then December 27, she threw up blood and turned blue. Her parents, Brian and Stephanie Florer, called the ambulance and rushed her to the nearest hospital.
From there, doctors diagnosed her condition and she was taken in an ambulance to St. Francis Hospital in Tulsa and immediately brought into surgery. “They operated on her for two and a half hours, but they couldn’t stop the bleeding,” Vice said. “They believed the battery ate through to her carotid artery by way of her esophagus.”
“One minute she is perfect,” he added, “and the next minute she is dead.”
The family doesn’t know when she swallowed the battery, but doctors estimate it was within six days of her death. Eddie Johnson, who works with the state medical examiner’s office, said the Brianna’s autopsy is pending, and it would be two to four months before an official cause and manner of death is known.