If you’ve ever had any doubts about whether button batteries are extremely dangerous to kids, you don’t need to look any further than this video here.
Most of us have had a friend, family member, or a co-worker share a story about a kid swallowing a small object, and it causing a major panic. It might be a penny, or a LEGO piece, or some other tiny piece of whatever.
In fact, a study showed that over the past 25 years, visits to emergency rooms have doubled for cases of kids swallowing small items.
A very dangerous swallow-hazard are the lithium button batteries that are found in all kinds of electronics and toys. And you know kids like to put anything and everything in their mouths.
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AP and lateral radiographs of the chest show a round radiopaque disc in the upper esophagus. Button battery ingestion. The radiopaque foreign body has characteristic imaging findings of a button battery. There is a thin low density rim around the perimeter of the battery. The edge of the battery is beveled. Important finding on the lateral image: there is swelling of the soft tissue around the esophagus at the level of the battery. This is causing mass effect on the adjacent trachea. The amount of swelling suggests that the battery has been there for some time. Tissue breakdown with rupture of the esophagus and injury of the trachea and adjacent structures, including major blood vessels, is a concern.
Dr. Mike Rubin of Ottawa, Ontario, shared a video on his Twitter account of an experiment he conducted with a lithium button battery to show how quickly these items can do major damage to the body.
Take a look at this sobering video to see the proof.
Swallowed button batteries are a medical emergency! This is an example the tissue damage that occurs in 3 hours.#FOAMed #MedEd #SoMeDocs #physician #MedTwitter #pediatrics #EmergencyMedicine pic.twitter.com/BATdAKZOES
— Dr. Mike Rubin (@stopioid) April 4, 2019
Sadly, dozens of kids die each year from ingesting button batteries. These batteries can and do pass through the digestive system without issues, but if they become stuck in a person’s esophagus, the effects can be devastating – especially if the battery goes undetected for weeks or months.
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I've been corresponding with this lovely mama in Australia whose baby girl also swallowed a button battery that wasn't discovered for 6 months. Hers and Moses' stories are almost identical. Her sweet girl has suffered more severe side effects for the time being, but we are both so grateful that our children are still alive. ♥️ Please, friends, be aware of button batteries. They are EVERYWHERE. Australia is working on making them less accessible to young children, while the USA seems to not be doing anything about this ever-growing, incredibly dangerous problem. I am in prayer about my role in making sure that these batteries are taken seriously. Please pray with me. #MosesFinley #buttonbatteryawareness #buttonbatterysafety #buttonbattery #momlife
If you’re with a child who swallows a lithium battery button, get them to an emergency room immediately, but also feed them honey, which can help coat the battery and protect their tissue. Keep in mind, though, that honey is not a long term solution and you must get the child to an ER as quickly as possible.