Swallowing Batteries a Growing Risk for Kids

Jacksonville defective product injury lawyers are noting that children swallowing batteries is becoming a growing problem as people increasingly are using button batteries. A Reuters story reports that there has been an increase in the number of children that put the tiny batteries in their mouth where they can become lodged in the esophagus or ingested.

If the lodged batteries are not removed within two hours, they can cause tears, burning or internal bleeding. The studies – published in the June issue of Pediatrics – come to the same conclusion – that the number of cases of battery swallowing are on the rise. Research suggests a 6.7 fold increase in the percentage of button batteries swallowed between 1985 and 2009. That increase mirrors the increasing use of the little lithium cell batteries that go in remote controls, cameras, watches, children’s toys, and many household products.

So far, there have been 13 deaths from swallowing or ingesting the batteries.

The researchers suggest that manufacturers take more care by creating a childproof battery compartment that may require a tool to open, and creating an education campaign so parents know what to look for if a battery is lodged or has been swallowed. That data shows that swallowing a lithium cell battery begins to severely burn a child internally within two to 2.5 hours. Data from the national batter ingestion hotline shows that children under the age of six were involved in the majority (62.5%) of button cell battery ingestions.

Parents need to be aware of the situation. The majority of small batteries were lying around or removed from household products. Believe it or not, some elderly individuals ingested the small items in 15.5% of ingestion incidents, believing that the batteries were pills.

Health care providers may not even know what to look for, so widespread education needs to include doctors, nurses and emergency room personnel. More than 54% of the time, cases were initially misdiagnosed. Symptoms of battery ingesting can include vomiting, fever, lethargy, irritability, cough, poor appetite, wheezing, and dehydration.

Please take seriously this alert about a potentially deadly product hazard that may be lying around your house.