If a young child in your family received a gift with button batteries or you have household products containing them you should be aware of the dangers. The Canadian Hospital Injury Reporting and Prevention Program warns if swallowed they can become lodged in a child’s throat. The child’s saliva instantly triggers an electric current causing a chemical reaction that can burn through the esophagus, the wind pipe and the main artery which can take as little as two hours. Depleted or dead batteries can still carry enough charge to cause serious injuries and death.
They advise new or used batteries should always be stored out of site and reach of children, check that button battery compartments are secure and not easy to open, place a piece of tape on either side before disposing of them, always supervise children when playing with products containing button batteries and never store them near food or medicine as even adults, particularly seniors have confused them with pills or food and have been injured.