Preventing Kids from Swallowing Batteries

There’s a little-known risk to small children.

Each year, about 3,500 button battery swallowing cases are reported to U.S. poison control centers.  Serious injuries and deaths are on the rise.

The most serious cases involve nickel-sized 20 mm diameter batteries.  These can get stuck in a child’s throat and burn through the esophagus in as little as two hours.  Repair can require feeding and breathing tubes and multiple surgeries.

Kids under 4 are at the greatest risk.

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Many slim, sleek devices have battery compartments that are easy to open and most parents do not know there is a risk.

Symptoms may be similar to other illnesses, such as coughing, drooling, and discomfort.  Children can usually breathe with the battery in their throat, making the problem difficult to spot.

Learn more at  the National Battery Ingestion Hotline: 202-625-3333.

Take Charge, Act Now.

  1. Keep devices with button batteries out of reach if the battery compartments aren’t secure, and lock away loose batteries
  2. If a child swallows a button battery, go to the emergency room right away.  Do not let the child eat or drink and do not induce vomiting.
  3. Share this information with others.