OKLAHOMA TODDLER DIES AFTER INGESTING BUTTON BATTERY
· An Oklahoma 2 year old died after ingesting button batteries, or lithium batteries
o Died six days after swallowing one of the batteries, which are small, silver, and shaped like a button
· Commonly used in children's toys, musical greeting cards, hearing aids, as well as remote controls, calculators and wristwatches.
· According to the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), older adults who may mistake the batteries as pills, and children under age 4 within reach of items that commonly use the batteries, are at the highest risk of swallowing them.
Why the battery is toxic
· While some batteries pass through the body without causing harm, others can be life-threatening when they get stuck in the esophagus and expose the body to an alkaline substance
· A battery that is stuck in the esophagus is especially likely to cause tissue damage.
· An electrical current can form around the outside of the battery, generating hydroxide (an alkaline chemical) and causing a tissue burn.
· When a battery is swallowed, it is impossible to know whether it will pass through or get stuck
· The CPSC warns that a child can suffer chemical burns within as few as two hours of ingesting lithium batteries.
What parents can look for to tell if their child swallowed one
· According to the National Institutes of Health (NIH), people who have swallowed one may have:
o Abdominal and chest pain
o Possibly bloody vomit
o May also be asymptomatic
· Purses: Pen caps, coins can be dangerous. Can be dangerous if ingested.
· Hair: it can get wrapped around little baby fingers and toes.
· Small toys: any toy that is smaller than 1-3/4 inches should be considered a choking hazard for toddlers.
· Detergent pods: contain toxic chemicals that can be harmful if ingested.