by Paul Stevens
As electronics are made smaller and manufactures find new ways to make things talk, lithium button batteries are becoming more and more widely used in just about every hand held electronic device, they are even in children talking books and popular greeting cards.
Every home is likely to have at least three devices in the home now using lithium button batteries. These are generally under easy to open battery compartments such as TV remote controls, or behind the paper in a greeting card or talking book. This allows easy access to a curious young child to then become entranced with the little shinny battery disc.
Once the lithium batteries become ingested they can quickly become lodged in the esophagus or other areas, and then heat up in just a few hours to the point, irreversible tissue burns and holes can extend out into other organs.
The symptoms of vomiting may be mistaken even in a doctor’s office as stomach bug. If a child shows these symptoms, look for open electronic cases, or torn pages to see if the child may have swallowed a lithium battery. They will quickly show up on an X-Ray, but routinely X-Rays are not performed on stomach bugs unless the parent lets the staff know there are potential lithium batteries missing.
If a child for sure swallows lithium batteries seek immediate medical help as damage can occur quickly leading to permanent damage within hours.