Coin-size batteries pose child safety concern

Recent data shows a large increase in the number of children who have been seriously hurt or have died as the result of swallowing coin-size lithium batteries. According to the Minnesota Department of Health, the number of cases has more than quadrupled from 2006–2010 compared to the previous four-year period. In 2010, more than 3,500 cases were reported to U.S. poison control centers.

Most cases are associated with 20mm diameter batteries, about the size of a nickel, because they can easily get stuck in a child’s throat. When a coin-sized lithium battery gets stuck in a child’s throat, the saliva triggers an electrical current and a resulting chemical reaction that can severely burn the esophagus in as little as two hours. Once the burning reaction begins, it can continue after the battery has been removed.

“Coin-sized lithium batteries are increasingly common and can be found in watches, toys, remote controls, bathroom scales and singing greeting cards, among a long, long list of others,” said Gloria Sorem, public health nurse with Sherburne County Health and Human Services.

Most of the batteries swallowed by children have been from remote controls.

For more information visit TheBattery Controlled.com online.

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