Eric Boggess is a dad and a medical professional. He knows all too well that household items can be dangerous if swallowed by children and babies.
But during the Emergency Medicine Conference in September, CafeMom reports, Boggess was completely blown away by an event that highlighted the dangers of button batteries — the small, round, metallic batteries often found in remote controls, watches, and toys.
Boggess recreated the experiment at home and placed a button battery inside of a hot dog. After two hours, the meat showed signs of burning. He posted the terrifying photos of his experiment and wrote on Facebook:
Now, imagine this being the inside of your child/infant/toddler’s stomach or intestine. Within only a few hours it can cause a perforation (hole) within the stomach lining. So here’s the PSA, if you have a child that has swallowed one or you are concerned may have swallowed one, go immediately to the ER.
According to the National Capital Poison Center, the number of injuries caused by button batteries has been increasing. An estimated 36 people have died and 157 people have been injured from ingesting button batteries.
The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that parents can take action to reduce the risk of injury at home. Some of the AAP recommendations include:
- Keeping track of devices that use button batteries.
- Taping the battery doors shut to prevent the flap from opening.
- Storing loose batteries and jewelry with batteries away from children.
More than 155,000 people have shared Boggess’s original post since it was posted in late September. Many people weren’t aware that button batteries could burn holes. Others shared their horror stories of children who were severely injured by the batteries.
Some batteries are more dangerous than others. The National Poison Center reports that the 20 millimeter diameter lithium cell batteries can cause the most harm.
If you suspect that a child has swallowed a button battery, he or she should be brought to the hospital immediately. Anyone with questions regarding batteries can call the National Battery Ingestion Hotline at 202-625-3333.