Published: Wednesday 23 December 2020

Button (or lithium coin) batteries are a fairly modern hazard and can be very dangerous if swallowed. In fact, it is possible for them to cause death within hours.

If swallowed, the majority of button batteries go through the body without a problem but if they become lodged in the throat or the gullet they can cause the body to create caustic soda. This can then burn a hole through the throat and result in internal bleeding and, potentially, death.

You may not immediately realise that your child has swallowed a battery but symptoms can include pain, vomiting, fever or a cough. Whether you notice symptoms or not, if you suspect your child has swallowed a button battery you should go to your nearest Accident and Emergency department immediately.

Button batteries can be found in many household items including toys, clocks, small lights, car keys, calculators, musical cards and many other places. If you are aware that you have them in the house, you should ensure they are kept out of reach of children as much as possible and that any cover over the battery is securely held in place to prevent easy access.

Join us on our Baby and Child First Aid courses in Sussex or (given current restrictions) choose our online option.

If you're a professional childcarer our Paediatric First Aid course in Sussex. We'll cover all the essentials you need to know to feel prepared and knowledgeable in a first aid emergency.

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