Dangers of Button Batteries

My heart goes out to the parents of little 2-year-old Brianna Florer. Their Christmas celebration would forever be marred by this tragedy.

Parents and child care personnel out there, please please please be alert to this danger: button batteries.

Having a 2-year-old son, I know how curious children can be. My son has been putting things into his mouth from scraps on the playground floor to his Hotwheels toy cars. Needless to say, small coins and batteries are on his menu too.

While I understand how small items could be choking hazards in young children, the news about Brianna’s death is really an eye opener.

Brianna threw up blood, and her body turned a blue color.

They operated on her for 2½ hours, but they couldn’t stop the bleeding. They believed the battery ate through to her carotid artery by way of her esophagus. ~Kent Vice, maternal grandfather

I never knew button batteries could be so lethal. Looking around my home, there are so many battery-controlled devices that use button batteries. From the electronic scale to my husband’s heart-rate monitors, these small, shiny buttons are lying everywhere within reach of my curious son that could potentially cause his death.

Here are some safety tips from Safe Kids Worldwide:

  • Keep coin lithium battery-controlled devices out of sight and reach of children. These include remote controls, singing greeting cards, digital scales, watches, hearing aids, thermometers, children’s toys, calculators, key fobs, t-light candles, flashing holiday jewelry or decorations all contain button batteries.
  • Keep loose batteries locked away, or place a piece of duct tape over the controller to prevent small children from accessing the battery.
  • Share this life-saving information with caregivers, friends, family members and sitters. It only takes a minute and it could save a life.
  • If you suspect your child has ingested a battery, go to the hospital immediately. Don’t induce vomiting or have your child eat or drink anything until assessed by a medical professional.
  • Enter the National Battery Ingestion Hotline (202-625-3333) into your phone right now. Call anytime for additional treatment information.
  • Read more here.

Safekids Director Ann Weaver says button batteries should be treated like other potentially dangerous items.

“Young children explore the world by putting objects in their mouth, ears and nose, so just like you wouldn’t leave sharp objects or medicine lying out, make sure you secure and lock away your button batteries.

“Kids can still breathe if a button battery is lodged in their throat or nose, so it may not be obvious at first that something is wrong.

“If you suspect that your child has swallowed or ingested a battery, take them to the hospital immediately. Do not let your child eat or drink anything and do not attempt to induce vomiting.”

From now on, I would probably watch my son like a hawk but I believe the best approach is to teach him about the dangers of swallowing non-edible items, especially those that can cause death.

Here are more news about the dangers and safety advice on button batteries:







Angel is a mother of one and works as a full time editor and writer. She writes on a wide variety of topics in a number of reputable publications.

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