Button batteries are widely used in dozen of household products mostly in electronic devices such as toys, watches, calculators, lighted shoes and others.
It can be fatal when swallowed or can cause serious harm, and research suggests that severe injuries in children, though relatively scarce, are on the rise.
Button batteries pose a special swallowing risk; even if they don’t completely block the throat, they can trigger a chemical process when they lodge there that can burn through tissue within just a few hours.
“These are bad news. They have to be removed immediately,” said Dr. Fuad Baroody, a pediatric ear nose, nose and throat specialist at the University of Chicago. Baroody said, his hospital treats about two to three children each year with battery related injuries.
The dangers are highlighted in a new medical report about 10 cases at a Utah hospital, including seven that caused severe damage, and in last week’s recall of more than 1 million Chuck E. Cheese battery containing toys.
There are no reports of children injured by the Chuck E. Cheese toys but they were recalled because swallowing batteries can be so dangerous.