Over 3,500 People Accidentally Swallow Button Batteries Each Year. Learn More About The Dangers Button Batteries Pose To Your Baby.

Over 3,500 people accidentally swallow button batteries each year. Learn more about the dangers button batteries pose to your baby.

Button batteries: Easily swallowed by babies and kids...and very dangerous

You probably have at least a few gadgets or electronics that require button batteries - small, round batteries that aren't much larger than a coin. They are used in hearing aids, remote controls, singing greeting cards, toys and a million other devices. According to the National Capital Poison Center, approximately 3,500 people (of all ages) swallow button batteries each year. They can be dangerous or deadly. The National Capital Poison Center offers the following advice in the event your baby (or anyone in your home) swallows a button battery:
  1. Immediately call the 24-hour National Battery Ingestion Hotline at 202-625-3333 (call collect if necessary), or call your poison center at 1-800-222-1222. Your physician or the emergency room may call the National Button Battery Ingestion Hotline/National Capital Poison Center collect at 202-625-3333 for consultation about button batteries. Expert advice is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
  2. If readily available, provide the battery identification number, found on the package or from a matching battery.
  3. In most cases, 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 immediately. Most batteries move on to the stomach and can be allowed to pass by themselves.) Based on the age of the patient and size of the battery, the National Battery Ingestion Hotline specialists can help you determine if an immediate x-ray is required.
  4. Don't induce vomiting. Don't eat or drink until the x-ray shows the battery is beyond the esophagus.
  5. Watch for fever, abdominal pain, vomiting, or blood in the stools. Report these symptoms immediately.
  6. Check the stools until the battery has passed.
The US CSPS says that if you suspect that your baby has swallowed a button battery, IMMEDIATELY take him or her to the Emergency Department. You can go to the CSPS's YouTube page to view a short video with more information. Watch this CBS clip on the dangers of button batteries, including the story of one mom who nearly lost her baby after he swallowed a button battery.

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