Yale-New Haven Hospital Issues Warning About Button Batteries

You know those small, round batteries that fit into many children's toys, books, musical greeting cards and remote controls?

Today, doctors at Yale-New Haven Children's Hospital issued a warning to parents and caregivers about these "button batteries" that resemble a coin: pay close attention to the dangers of these batteries.  If ingested, they can cause very serious harm to a child.

According to a press release:

These button batteries can cause very serious injuries and, in some cases, death in children. When swallowed, these small batteries can release an electric current that can severely burn the esophagus in as little as two hours.

"As children explore the world around them, they may mouth or even swallow non-food objects, ranging from lead-containing paint chips to coins and small batteries,” said Carl Baum, attending physician, Yale-New Haven Children’s Hospital Emergency Department and an expert in the field of pediatric toxicology. “Button batteries, which are particularly attractive to children, may be swallowed and pass through the gastrointestinal tract without incident, but can present a serious hazard when lodged in the esophagus. Although these retained button batteries rarely leak their chemical contents, they continue to generate an electrical charge that may cause injury and even perforation of the esophagus."

According to doctors, incidents of children ingesting button batteries are on the rise.  Across the nation, more than 80 kids have suffered permanent damage from injuries caused by swallowing the batteries.  Fifteen children have died.

 

 

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