More kids are going to the ER for swallowing 'button' batteries, study finds. Why that's really dangerous

August 31, 2022

USA Today

More than 84% of patients were under 5, and “button” batteries accounted for nearly 85% of the emergency room visits.

Lithium button batteries are one of the most dangerous objects for a child to swallow, a “true medical emergency,” said Dr. Rade Vukmir, a spokesman for the American College of Emergency Physicians and a professor of clinical medicine at Drexel University.

If the batteries get stuck in a child’s throat, the saliva triggers an electric current causing a chemical burn that can severely damage the esophagus. That can happen in as little as two hours after ingestion and lead to perforation, vocal cord paralysis or airway erosion.

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