Button Batteries

Many electronic toys, musical/talking books, mini remote controls, singing greeting cards and other electronics are in homes and early learning and child care programs.  Inside the battery compartment of these items are button-size, lithium batteries that can cause serious injuries when swallowed.  These batteries can get stuck in a child’s throat.  Saliva triggers an electrical current that causes a chemical reaction that can severely burn the esophagus (food tube) in as little as two hours.  Children under the age of 4 years old are at highest risk for the injury.  In 2010 alone, more than 3,400 button battery swallowing cases were reported in the U.S., resulting in 19 serious injuries and in some cases, deaths. To learn more, view the 2 minute video from The Battery Controlled, a campaign supported by Energizer® and Safe Kids Worldwide:  http://thebatterycontrolled.com/.  

Share the following safety information with caregivers, friends, and family members:

* Look for any items that may contain coin-sized button batteries.

* Place devices out of sight and out of reach of young children.

* Keep loose or spare batteries locked away.

Keeping these batteries locked away and secured in devices is very important, but if a coin-sized button battery is swallowed:

* Take the child to the emergency room immediately. Tell doctors and nurses that it might be a coin-sized, button battery.

* Do not let the child eat or drink until an X-ray can determine if a battery is present.

* Do not induce vomiting.

* If possible, provide the medical team with the identification number found on the battery’s package.

Reviewed and reaffirmed 6/2013