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profile picture of Leah Rocketto
Leah Rocketto

The Choking Hazard That Might Be In Your Kid’s Toys

PUBLISHED ON 08/31/2012

You may want to check that toy you just bought for baby. Button batteries, those smaller than a coin, have become a huge threat to children’s health.

In a new study from the Center for Disease Control and Prevention and the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, it was reported that 40,000 children were treated in emergency rooms for ingesting the tiny batteries between 1997 and 2012. The report also noted an increase in treatments for ingesting the batteries, going from 1,900 in 1998 to 4,800 in 2010. The increase of treatments coincides with the increase in products using these types of batteries, which include toys, flashlights, remote controls, watches, hearing aids and light-up jewelry.

Due to its size, the button battery poses a bigger threat than its AA counterparts — a child is more likely to choke on it. According to the report, when children swallow batteries, serious burns can occur in less than two hours and fatal bleeding can happen after two weeks, the report said. Unfortunately, unless parents see the swallowing, these cases can be overlooked.

"Unless you have seen the child swallow the battery it's very hard to diagnose and you have to have an x-ray to see the battery," Dr. Amanda Porro, a pediatrician at Miami Children's Hospital, said in an interview with HealthDay.

To keep children safe, the CDC and  CPSC are urging the electronics industry and battery manufacturers to develop warnings and industry standards to prevent serious injuries and deaths from button batteries. They also encourage parents to keep all battery operated products away from young children.

Do you check your kid's toys and other things he plays with (like the remote) for small batteries?