Small and convenient power storage devices, button batteries can also be dangerous for children.
Chances are good something in the home has them, as they can be found in watches, cameras, calculators, children’s toys and hearing aids.
However, because of their convenient size and shape, according to Alberta Health Services, young children can mistake the batteries for candy or other foods.
If swallowed, a battery can cause burning and corrosion in, if not completely destroying, the upper digestive tract. And the damage can happen quickly.
Signs and symptoms of a child having swallowed a button battery include trouble breathing, wheezing, drooling, coughing and gagging when eating, trouble swallowing, chest pain, abdominal pain, nausea, vomiting, lack of appetite or any combination.
If you suspect your child has swallowed a button battery, remain calm and do not induce vomiting. Instead, take them immediately to the local emergency room.
To keep children safe from accidental battery ingestion over the holiday season, keep batteries locked up or out of reach, supervise young children when using toys using these batteries, ensure the batteries can not be removed or played with on their own, disposes of dead batteries safely and ensure they are not left within easy reach.
For more information about button battery safety, visit Myhealth.alberta.ca.