Here's what to do if your child swallows a button battery

What do you need to do if your child has swallowed a battery? This simple yet amazing tip can help save your child's life. Read on to learn more

What should you do if your child has swallowed a battery, especially the button battery type? If course you would panic, knowing the devastating effects these can have on your child’s body. While you might make your child gag or rush them to hospital, a new study is suggesting a simple way that can potentially save lives.

If your child has swallowed a battery, try giving them honey*

child has swallowed a battery

If your child has swallowed a battery, eating honey can prevent any serious injuries.

*Please note that honey is NOT recommended for babies under the age of one, due to the risk of botulism

According to a team of ear, nose, and throat (ENT) specialists from the Nationwide Children’s Hospital in Philadelphia, USA, eating honey after swallowing a battery can reduce the risk of serious injuries in children.

They add that serious damage can occur within just two hours of eating a battery, so it’s a good idea to act quickly during this time frame.

Batteries — especially button batteries — pose a serious threat to children since they can be mistaken for candies or sweets. Curious kids can swallow loose batteries which can cause a lot of serious damage because of the chemicals inside.

That’s because when kids eat batteries, their saliva starts a chemical reaction which creates caustic chemicals. These chemicals are strong enough to dissolve the tissues in a child’s throat.

Symptoms of battery swallowing include sore throat, cough, fever, trouble swallowing etc. Those symptoms can also escalate to much more serious complications such as esophageal perforation, vocal cord paralysis, or erosion of the airway or blood vessels. The longer the battery stays inside the child, the greater the risk.

The researchers were trying to look for a means to prevent these serious injuries, and stumbled upon honey as the best substance to use.

They also previously tested fruit juices such as lemon juice, which were also effective, but kids didn’t like the taste of it. Honey was easier to give to kids and had a protective effect based on their testing.

According to them, if your child swallows a battery, giving a teaspoon of honey every 5-10 minutes is crucial. This should be done right up until they can be taken to the hospital.

Honey has the ability to “create a protective barrier between the tissue and the battery, as well as neutralize harsh alkaline levels” and this is exactly how it can save your child, if they swallow a battery. 

What are other ways that parents can keep their kids safe?

Here are some important reminders when it comes to keeping your child safe from swallowing a battery:

  • Keep any and all batteries away from your child’s reach. Place them in a secure container that your child can’t open.
  • Throw out any old batteries. Old batteries should not be kept at home since they can pose a risk because of the chemicals they contain. Make sure to take them to the proper waste disposal facility.
  • Make sure that all the toys they have which contain batteries are secure. If the covers are loose, make sure to place tape over them to prevent the batteries from falling out.
  • If your child has swallowed a battery, make sure to take them to a hospital ASAP. In the meantime, feed them a teaspoon of honey every 5-10 minutes to prevent serious injury.
  • Here are some important numbers that you can call should your child accidentally swallow a battery:
    • Red Cross hotline -143, (02) 527-0000, (02) 527-8385 to 95
    • Universal Emergency Number – 911
    • National Poison Control Center – 524-1078 / 554-8400 loc. 3276
  • Don’t induce vomiting. The best thing to do would be to take your child to a hospital right away. Vomiting can cause further injury, so it would be best to avoid doing so.

 

Source: eurekalert.org

READ: Beware of the battery: A swallowed lithium battery almost cost this toddler her life

Republished with permission from: theAsianparent Singapore