PEORIA, Ill. (WMBD) — Small button batteries are found in many household items, from remotes to hearing aids, and toys and key fobs. Now, they’re causing issues for children.
According to Safe Kids Worldwide, more than 2,800 kids a year are treated in emergency rooms after swallowing button batteries.
Research shows that battery related ER visits have doubled from 2010 to 2019.
When the batteries are swallowed, they can burn through a child’s esophagus in as little as two hours. The injury can even progress after it’s removed.
To prevent any injuries, guardians and parents can keep button batteries and any devices that they power, out of reach of children. If a child does swallow one, a local doctor said do not eat or drink anything, and do not induce vomiting.
“The reason for that is so that it keeps the pathway, the GI tract, pretty clean, so if we need to go in and retrieve it, there’s not a whole bunch of food particles in the way,” said Dr. Victor Chan, chief of emergency services at OSF Saint Francis Medical Center.
Dr. Chan said if a child has swallowed a button battery, bring them to the ER as soon as possible, but he said, giving a child 10 milliliters of honey every ten minutes can help lessen injuries and produces a neutralizing effect on the battery.
Earlier this month, President Biden signed “Reese’s Law,” which established safety standards including requiring child-resistant packaging and warning labels on products.