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Electronic devices are part of daily life. It only takes a second for your toddler to get hold of one and put in his mouth.  We know it is impossible to get rid of all electronic devices using lithium batteries out of our homes.  However taking simple actions can protect children from a growing safety hazard.


In 2010 alone, more than 3,400 swallowing cases were reported in the U.S.  19 children sustained life-threatening or debilitating injuries and others died!


Many coin-sized button batteries can appear “invisible” to us because devices come with the batteries already installed.

  • Many devices that use these coin lithium batteries have easy-to-open battery compartments.
  • These gadgets are often left within the reach of children.  They may even be favorite play-things or used to entertain kids.

These batteries are extremely dangerous if swallowed.

  • If a coin lithium button battery gets stuck in a child’s throat, the saliva triggers an electrical current. This causes a chemical reaction that can severely burn the esophagus in as little as two hours.
  • Damage can continue even AFTER the battery is removed.
  • Repairing the damage is painful and can require feeding tube, breathing tubes and multiple surgeries.
  • Spotting the problem is difficult.  Children can usually breathe with the battery in their throat

We can take simple steps to protect our children.

  • Look in your home for any items that may contain coin-sized button batteries:
    Small remotes · Car key fobs · Mini remotes that control MP3 speakers · Calculators · Bathroom scales · Reading lights · Flameless candles · Talking and singing books · Singing greeting cards · Watches · Thermometers · Hearing aids · Flashing jewelry · Ornaments · Games · Toys
  • Place devices out of sight and out of reach of small children.
  • Keep loose or spare batteries locked away.
  • Share this life-saving information with caregivers, friends, family members, and sitters.  Click here to email Emmett's Fight to a friend

If a coin-sized button battery is suspected to have been swallowed, you should get help fast following these steps:

  • Go to the emergency room immediately.
  • Tell doctors and nurses that it might be a button battery.
  • If possible, provide the identification number found on the battery’s package.
  • Do not let the child eat or drink until a chest x-ray can determine if a battery is present.
  • Do not induce vomiting.

Keeping these batteries locked away and secured in devices is important to our children’s safety!

Information provided by:

The National Poison Control
24 hour Button Battery Ingestion Hotline: 202-625-3333

Data provided by Dr. Toby Litovitz and the National Capital Poison Center based on incidents reported to U.S. poison control centers. Dr. Litovitz, M.D.

U.S. Product Safety Commission

The Battery Controlled- Energizer and Safe Kids USA

Safe Kids USA


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