Lithium "button" batteries are found in more and more products: toys, flashlights, remote controls, calculators, watches, hearing aids, even musical greeting cards. Unfortunately, small children can ingest these small, disc-shaped batteries and suffer serious injuries or even death.
There are several reports of button battery ingestion in the past years. Usually when this happens, the battery travels through the child's body and doesn't cause serious harm. But in rare cases, mostly involving young children, the battery can become stuck in the esophagus and cause devastating chemical burns.
To keep your baby safe, use extreme caution with loose button batteries or any product that contains them. Keep these out of your baby's reach, and consider taping over the battery compartment as an additional safety measure.
If you're visiting an unfamiliar place or a relative's home, make sure anything with a button battery is safely away from your child. Be especially careful with hearing aids: Nearly half of ingested batteries are intended for these devices.
If your baby swallows a button battery, or you think he or she has, call for help immediately.
• Don't wait for symptoms to develop before getting help: If a button battery does get stuck, severe burns can occur within hours.
• Don't induce vomiting or give your child anything to eat or drink. Watch for fever, vomiting, abdominal pain, or bloody stools. Check poopy diapers to see if the battery has passed.
• Button batteries can also be harmful if placed in the nose or ears. If this happens, call for emergency. Do not use nose or ear drops, as they can cause additional injury.