"These are tragic, disastrous cases that are so difficult to treat" states Toby Litovitz about swallowed button batteries. "The trickiest part is that batteries stuck in the esophagus must be removed within just two hours to prevent terrible injuries. In most cases, the "bad actor" is a 20 mm lithium coin cell, just a bit larger than a penny. It is commonly used because of its energy density and long shelf life. National Battery Ingestion Hotline data show where and how the swallowed 20 mm lithium coin cells were mainly used over the past 2 years: 25% for remote controls, 15% for lights, and 14% for flameless candles.
Litovitz: "We must find a way to protect children from this deadly hazard. Engineers are working to overcome the technical hurdles and develop a safer battery. Until then, it's up to parents to be certain batteries are kept out of reach and all products in the home have a secure battery compartment. It's up to industry to secure product closures. And it's up to parents and healthcare providers alike to suspect battery ingestions so batteries can be removed from the esophagus quickly, before serious damage is done."
Full press release
Button battery safety tips
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SOURCE National Capital Poison Center