Poison Prevention

Big Danger in a Small Battery

Button battery
Image via Wikimedia

When you think of “poison,” you probably don’t think of “battery.” But those small, round, flat “button” batteries that power everything from remote controls to watches to greeting cards and children’s books with lights and sounds can be extremely poisonous if swallowed.

Button batteries are so small that a child could swallow one without a parent even knowing. Most of the time, it passes through the body without harm. But if a battery gets stuck in the esophagus, it can cause severe chemical burns and sometimes even death. Read about what happened to 1-year-old Emmett in this story from the Washington Post.

This week, SafeKids USA and Energizer announced a new partnership – The Battery Controlled – designed to alert parents and caregivers about the dangers of button batteries. Energizer also is working on new packaging for its button batteries that is harder for kids to open.

America’s 57 poison centers have long been warning the public about the dangers of button batteries. For example, the National Capital Poison Center,  the Maryland Poison Center and the Utah Poison Control Center all have important information about button batteries, including what to do if someone swallows a button battery and tips for keeping your children safe.

As always, if you think someone has been exposed to a poison, call your local poison center at 1-800-222-1222.

Stay safe and stay healthy, and keep your children safe from the big dangers of button batteries.

 The American Association of Poison Control Centers supports the nation’s 57 poison centers in their efforts to prevent and treat poison exposures. Poison centers offer free, private, expert medical advice 24 hours a day, seven days a week. We take calls in more than 150 languages and from the hearing impaired.

For questions about poison or if you think someone has been exposed to a poison, call 1-800-222-1222 to reach your local poison center.

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