When she was seen at the hospital, she got an immediate X-Ray to see where the battery was located. Thankfully, it was in her stomach rather than lodged in her esophagus, where the most complications and fatalities stem from. We were told to take her home, allow her to resume normal activity, and wait for it to pass, which should occur within 1-3 days. (Which it did.) I am hoping that no complications will arise from this incident. I am a nervous wreck still, and am losing sleep because I am so worried. I am hoping that my baby girl will be just fine and that she doesn't become chronically ill or worse....I've looked at the recorded reports of debilitating and fatal incidents involving battery ingestion, and many of the deaths occurred days and sometimes weeks after the battery is removed. So every day right now feels like an eternity, and I am virtually petrified.
I am posting this as to bring awareness to all parents the dangers of button batteries. They are tiny, and to a curious child, I'm sure they look quite interesting. But they are deadly, and can be ingested in a matter of seconds. Often a parent won't even know this has taken place, and should their child exhibit any symptoms, they can mistakenly assume the affected child has the flu or another virus. Sometimes there aren't any symptoms until it's too late!
Apparently, this is a more common problem than one might think. Every year in the United States, more than 3,500 people of all ages swallow miniature disc or “button” batteries. These are used to power hearing aids, watches, toys, games, flashing jewelry, singing greeting cards, remote control devices, and many other items. The National Capital Poison Center in Washington, DC, operates a 24/7 hotline for battery ingestion cases (202-625-3333).
Most button batteries pass through the body and are eliminated in the stool. However, sometimes batteries get “hung up”, and these are the ones that cause problems. 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 “hung up”.
If anyone ingests a battery, this is what you should do:
- Immediately call the 24-hour National Battery Ingestion Hotline at 202-625-3333 (call collect if necessary), or call your poison center at 1-800-222-1222.
- If readily available, provide the battery identification number, found on the package or from a matching battery.
- In most cases, an x-ray must be obtained right away to be sure that the battery has gone through the esophagus into the stomach. (If the battery remains in the esophagus, it must be removed immediately. Most batteries move on to the stomach and can be allowed to pass by themselves.) Based on the age of the patient and size of the battery, the National Battery Ingestion Hotline specialists can help you determine if an immediate x-ray is required.
- Don't induce vomiting. Don't eat or drink until the x-ray shows the battery is beyond the esophagus.
- Watch for fever, abdominal pain, vomiting, or blood in the stools. Report these symptoms immediately.
- Check the stools until the battery has passed.
- Your physician or the emergency room may call the National Button Battery Ingestion Hotline/National Capital Poison Center collect at 202-625-3333 for consultation about button batteries. Expert advice is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
Here are some helpful tips to help prevent the accidental ingestion of button batteries:
• Discard button batteries carefully.
• Do not allow children to play with button batteries, and keep button batteries out of your child's reach.
• Caution hearing aid users to keep hearing aids and batteries out of the reach of children.
• Never put button batteries in your mouth for any reason as they are easily swallowed accidentally.
• Always check medications before ingesting them. Adults have swallowed button batteries mistaken for pills or tablets.
• Keep remotes and other electronics out of your child's reach if the battery compartments do not have a screw to secure them. Use tape to help secure the battery compartment.
***All information was found on the National Capitol Poison Center website. Please visit them for more information and statistics regarding accidental battery ingestion.***