The rate of the children exposed to injuries involving button batteries has become more apparent in the recent years. It constitutes over 5,000 cases annually in the United States from the year 1995 to 2010. This increase in the number of cases is mainly attributed to the growing popularity of coin-sized battery in common remote operated devices like toys and some light-up jewelries, which are commonly used by most kids today. Studies also show that children below 13 years old are at higher risk of possible button battery injuries which may include exposure through playing or accidental ingestion of these batteries.
According to the reports, the figure is expected to rise tremendously as the number of households using things having this kind of battery is continuously mounting. It has also been established that a vast majority of the occurrences involved battery ingestion while other data substantiate that a great part of this injury has resulted from unconscious placing of the batteries on a child’s nose or mouth as well as acid burns due to broken batteries. However, the data revealed are said to be fractional since many cases of injuries from these batteries were not reported. Most children do not report incidences like exposure to ruptured batteries and even ingestion of button cell batteries because of fear of being reprimanded by their parents. One third of the cases specify that the parents or older siblings were not told of the incidence until the child manifested non specific signs and symptoms like typical abdominal pain, vomiting, fever, and diarrhea. They also accounted that they have only found out that their child has accidentally swallowed button batteries after thorough evaluation was made by the pediatrician.
This goes to show that diagnosis of button battery injuries can be more challenging nowadays since many children are not outspoken of what had really happened. So, experts always remind every home to check and eliminate all items not only those objects having button cell batteries, but all the necessary things especially the minute ones which can be easily swallowed by the children. Parents and guardians should at all time make sure that children are not exposed to these batteries by employing measures to keep their little ones safe. They should always check items that are button battery operated like remote controls and other domestic devices and keep them in compartments or cabinets that are out of children’s reach. If possible, try to get rid of purchasing items having button batteries so that cases of accidental exposure to these batteries can be kept to minimum. On the other hand, if button battery ingestion is suspected, immediately bring your child to the nearest hospital facility so that appropriate medical assistance can be given. The period following ingestion of the battery is critical which can vary from two to three hours following the incidence. During this period, your child may suffer from respiratory distress and esophageal burns which are serious consequences of button battery ingestion. It may also lead to the death of the child if not given immediate medical aid.