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February 20th, 2012

Swallowed Button Battery Can Cause Serious Injury, Death

Children, especially babies and toddlers, are known for putting things in their mouths. Choking is not the only hazard to be wary of when your child has ingested something he should not — the number of button battery injuries from accidental swallowing is increasing across the U.S., and these can be a serious, even fatal, events.

More than 3,500 people of all ages accidentally swallow these small, disc-shaped devices each year in the United states. Most are approximately the size of a coin, and often times they will pass through the digestive system and be eliminated in the stool, never causing any issues. Unfortunately, this is not always the case.

If you or a loved one has suffered a button battery injury, you may be entitled to compensation. A button battery lawyer  can help determine if you have a case.

Dangers Of Swallowing Button Batteries

If swallowed, button batteries may become lodged in the esophagus. When that happens, an electric current can form around the outside of the device and generate hydroxide, causing critical internal injuries, tissue damage, chemical burns, and even death in some cases.

Once burning of the esophagus begins, the damage can continue to occur even if the device is dislodged. Symptoms of button battery injuries can include coughing drooling and discomfort, which mimics other childhood illnesses.

At least eleven children have died in the past six years as a result of swallowing these batteries. Many more have suffered the severe button battery injuries mentioned above. So, how do you prevent these tragedies from occurring?

Where To Find And Secure Button Batteries

These small batteries come in a number of normal household items, many of which you may not be aware of, including:

1. Watches2. Remotes3. Key-less entry devices4. Hearing aids5. Greeting cards with audio messages6. Bathroom scales7. Games8. Calculators

To prevent accidental ingestion, the National Capital Poison Center recommends discarding these batteries carefully, keeping them out of your child’s reach at all times, and making sure any electronic devices that use them have a battery compartment that is secured by a screw or taped shut. Also, always check medicines before swallowing them — adults have been known to accidentally ingest these devices, as they are small and can be mistaken for pills or tablets.

What To Do If Button Battery Swallowed

It is important to know what to do if a child swallowed a button battery . The following steps may help save you or your child’s life in the event of accidental ingestion.

1. Call the 24-hour National Battery Ingestion Hotline IMMEDIATELY. The number is 202-635-3334, and you can call collect if you need to; or call the poison center at 800-222-1222.2. Try to provide the device’s identification number when you call. This can be found on the package or from a matching battery.3. In most cases, have an X-ray right away. This is needed to make sure the device has passed the esophagus.4. No eating or drinking until an X-ray is obtained. DO NOT attempt to force vomiting.5. If fever, abdominal pain, vomiting, or bloody stool is observed, it should be immediately reported.

The button battery injury lawyers at Schechter, Shaffer & Harris, L.L.P., Accident & Injury Lawyers are the most experienced in the nation in these types of cases. Contact them today to find out if you have a case.

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