Button batteries can be fatal to kids if ingested, experts warn

On November 22, 2011, the Chicago Tribune published an article concerning the dangers presented to children by button batteries. Button batteries, often made of lithium, pose a special threat to children who may ingest them. These coin-sized batteries are used in small electronic devices, such as musical greeting cards and remote controls. When ingested, a button battery can damage the esophagus, causing serious burns that can lead to major injury and even death.

The statistics regarding this product safety concern are alarming. In 2010 alone, more than twenty children suffered serious injury or death after swallowing button batteries. So far this year, 3,500 cases of button battery ingestion have been reported nationally. Since 2008, button battery ingestion has resulted in ten child fatalities nationwide.

The number of incidents regarding serious injury or fatality due to button battery ingestion has risen significantly since 1985, partly due to the introduction of new lithium batteries. These types of button batteries are stronger than previous models, with the potential to cause greater injury if swallowed. Child safety advocates have asked both the battery industry and the public to work together to increase awareness of this growing problem.

See the full Chicago Tribune article at:,0,5820163.story

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