• Did You Know?

    Each year, more than 3,500 swallowing cases of all sizes and types of button batteries are reported to U.S. poison control centers.

    • The number of cases where children have been seriously hurt or have died quadrupled in five years (2006-2010) compared to the five years prior (2001-2005).
    • When a coin lithium button battery gets stuck in a child’s throat, the saliva triggers an electrical current. This causes a chemical reaction that can severely burn the esophagus in as little as two hours.
    • Symptoms of coin-sized button battery ingestion may be similar to other childhood illnesses, such as coughing, drooling, and discomfort.
    • Once burning begins, damage can continue even after the battery is removed.
  • Prevention

    Kids under 4 are at the greatest risk. Many coin-sized button batteries can appear “invisible” to parents because devices come with the batteries already installed. To keep your children safe:

    • Look in your home for any items that may contain coin-sized button batteries.
    • Place devices out of sight and out of reach of small children.
    • Keep loose or spare batteries locked away.
    • Share this life-saving information with caregivers, friends, family members and sitters.
  • Treatment

    Keeping these batteries locked away and secured in devices is key, but if a coin-sized button battery is swallowed, you should follow these steps:

    • Go to the emergency room immediately. Tell doctors and nurses that it might be a coin-sized button battery.
    • If possible, provide the medical team with the identification number found on the battery’s package.
    • Do not let the child eat or drink until an X-ray can determine if a battery is present.
    • Do not induce vomiting.

Remote control devices, Watches, Toys, Games, Flashing jewelry, Flameless candles, Singing greeting cards, Other slim devices

Data provided by Dr. Toby Litovitz and the The National Capital Poison Center based on incidents reported to U.S. poison control centers.