Toddler’s Tragic Death Should Be a Warning to Everyone That ‘Button Batteries’ Are Dangerous

button-batteryThere’s almost certainly something in your house right now that uses a so-called “button battery.” Those little, round, flat lithium batteries are slightly smaller and thicker than quarters, but otherwise not too different in size from coins. They’re in lots of things. My bathroom scale uses one, and those dumb singing birthday cards sometimes use them. But for small children those batteries can be very, very dangerous.

Accordig to Scary Mommy, 2-year-old Brianna Florer died tragically just after Christmas. She seemed fine at first, then suddenly she was vomiting blood. Doctors were unable to save her from what her family says was internal bleeding caused by having swallowed a small battery.

According to Florer’s devastated grandfather, the acid from the battery ”ate through to her carotid artery by way of her esophagus.”

These batteries are profoundly dangerous for small children who like to stick things in their mouths and swallow them, and the signs of having ingested a tiny battery can be very difficult for doctors to pinpoint. The American Academy of Pediatrics reports that approximately 3,500 lithium batteries are swallowed by small children every year in the U.S., and that number is growing as the little batteries are becoming more and more common.

This was a tragic accident that could happen to anybody, and it had devastating consequences. It’s terrifying, but it’s important for parents to know that this can happen, because it’s one more thing to be vigilant for. The battery compartments on children’s toys are often screwed shut so children can’t access the batteries, but that’s not the case for everything. If there are small children around, it’s important to know where all the batteries in one’s house are and be sure that children can’t access them and that any old ones are properly disposed of.


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