Wednesday, June 2, 2010
Button Batteries: Danger!!
About 3,500 cases of button cell battery ingestion are reported annually to poison control centers. But while swallowing batteries has occurred for years, the development of larger, stronger lithium cell batteries has increased the risk of severe complications. The chemical reaction triggered by the batteries can damage vocal cords, leaving children with a lifelong whisper. Damage to the gastrointestinal tract means some children require feeding tubes and multiple surgeries. Studies show the battery begins to cause severe damage within just two hours of ingestion.
The batteries that pose the greatest risk are those that begin with the number 20, which stands for 20 millimeters. They are newer and stronger than older models. Batteries numbered 2032, 2025 and 2016 are responsible for more than 90 percent of serious injuries. When children ingest batteries, it’s usually not because they found one loose in the home. In 60 percent of the cases involving children under age 6, the child has removed the battery from the electronic device.