Button Battery Injuries and Deaths
More than 3,500 people of all ages swallow button, or disc, batteries in the United States each year. In the past six years, 11 children have died after swallowing these types of batteries. Typically, these flat, coin-sized batteries are not viewed as a choking hazard since most will pass through the esophagus and the digestive system to be eliminated in the stool. However, there is a serious risk if, when swallowed, button batteries become lodged in the esophagus. If this occurs, an electrical current can form around the outside of the battery, generating hydroxide, which can cause serious internal injuries, tissue damage, chemical burns and even death.
To increase awareness about the risks button batteries pose to children, Energizer is partnering with SafeKids USA. Find out more about their partnership at www.thebatterycontrolled.com.
Where Are Button Batteries Found?
- Hearing aids
- Wrist or pocket watches
- Greeting Cards with songs/recorded messages
- Some types of remote controls
- Bathroom scales
- Jewelry that flashes or lights up
- Key-less entry devices (such as for your home, car or garage)
Symptoms to look for are similar to those of other common illnesses in children, including coughing, drooling and discomfort. Damage can continue occurring even after the battery is dislodged.
The following steps are recommended by CPSC to prevent accidental battery ingestion:
- Carefully dispose of button batteries.
- Keep these batteries out of children’s reach and DO NOT allow your child to play with them.
- Warn hearing aid users to keep hearing devices and their batteries out of children’s reach.
- DO NOT put button batteries in your mouth for any reason. These batteries are easily swallowed by accident.
- Double check medications before taking them, as adults have mistaken button batteries for pills or tablets.
- Keep remotes and other electronic devices out of the reach of your children if battery compartments do not have a screw to keep them securely closed. Also, use tape to secure battery compartments.
- If a button battery is swallowed, seek medical care immediately. There is a National Battery Ingestion Hotline that is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week at (202) 625-3333 (call collect if needed). You can also contact your poison center at (800) 222-1222 or visit the website for steps to take.
If you or a loved one has been injured by a button battery, you may be entitled to compensation. We have assembled the most experienced legal team in the country on these types of cases and we are ready to help you. Call us today for a FREE case evaluation - 888-810-1513.