(WWSB) - It’s as small as a coin, but a big danger if ingested. Button batteries are common and found in many items and with the holidays upon us, doctors are sending out a warning.
They’re found in remotes, key fobs, toys, and even some holiday cards, but button batteries can be dangerous if swallowed.
”This can be really fast. This can really critically injure a child and be fatal within a matter of hours,” said Dr. Maneesha Agarwal, a Pediatric Emergency Medicine Physician.
Dr. Maneesha Agarwal has seen first-hand the dangers of button battery ingestions as a pediatric ER doctor at Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta.
”It can very easily become stuck in the esophagus and even though the button battery might not be working for whatever toy or remote control it was in before, it usually still has some charge left, so when that charge is in the esophagus, it can injure it. It can start eroding through the tissue and that is what can cause significant damage and make that ingestion so fatal and deadly,” said Agarwal.
Each year, US Poison Control Centers get more than 3500 reports of button battery ingestions. However, stopping it from happening is simple, keep button batteries out of sight and reach of small children, check the screws on toys and devices children have access to, and keep loose batteries locked away.
Health officials tell parents not to wait if they think their child may have ingested a battery.
”The most important thing you can do is to go immediately to your closest emergency department. Don’t delay care,” said Dr. Maneesha Agarwal.
Parents who have questions can call the National Battery Ingestion Hotline at 800-498-8666 or contact Poison Control at 1-800-222-1222.