The Dangers of Button Batteries

ST. LOUIS (AP) __ The world’s leading maker of so-called button batteries is partnering with a child safety advocacy group to raise awareness of a growing problem: Children swallowing the small batteries.

St. Louis-based Energizer and Safe Kids USA say that in 2010 alone, 3,400 cases were reported in the U.S. of children swallowing coin cell lithium batteries.

The battery doesn’t cause choking. But when it gets stuck in the esophagus, saliva triggers a reaction that can cause severe burning. Nineteen deaths have been blamed on swallowed button
batteries.

The batteries are commonly found in remote control devices, calculators, even musical greeting cards. Experts encourage parents and caregivers to keep those items and the batteries out of the reach of children, and go immediately to an emergency room if swallowing is suspected.

Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press

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