LANSING, Mich. (WLNS) — New research from the journal Pediatrics reveals that emergency room visits involving children who have swallowed button batteries have doubled in the past decade.
Button batteries are commonly found in products such as remote controls, watches, and toys.
According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, every three hours a child will visit the ER after consuming a battery.
Health experts say the effects of swallowing a battery are serious and can be deadly. Consuming button batteries can cause serious tissue damage in as little as two hours. Once the battery comes in contact with saliva, a reaction can occur that begins to erode the child’s esophagus.
Experts say one of the most important steps you can take in this situation is to call the poison helpline.
Additionally, children should not be allowed to eat or drink after swallowing the battery.
You can, however, slow the harmful effects by giving your child honey. If your child is over 1 year old, it is recommended to give them two teaspoons every 10 minutes for up to 6 doses.
“After testing nearly 30 different substances found in the kitchen and pantries of most households, we found that honey, which is obviously very palpable, is a weakly acetic type of solution so it helps to neutralize the PH. It also acts as a viscous or physical barrier to coat the esophagus so there is less direct contact,” said Dr. Chris Jatana, Professor of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery at Ohio State University and Nationwide Children’s Hospital.
Experts say above all, get your child to a nearby hospital immediately.
Just last month, an Ohio mother went viral with a Facebook post describing how she gave her young daughter honey after she swallowed a button battery from a doll’s leg.
After arriving at the hospital, X-rays showed the battery had slid into the girl’s stomach where it was less dangerous. The girl was discharged after an overnight stay in the hospital, Nexstar’s WJW reports.