Boy Swallowed A Button Battery And Had To Undergo Numerous Surgeries To Eat And Breathe Again. Now, His Parents Are Working To Warn Others
August 6, 2018 15:14 By Fabiosa
We may see button batteries as a regular item found in most homes, but they can become deadly when small children get their hands on them. One Arizona family found out the hard way what swallowing a button battery can lead to.
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How a button battery almost ended little Emmett’s life
The Rauches were going to celebrate their sons’ birthday. Karla Rauch took Emmett, the younger one who had just turned 1, out of his crib and realized something wasn’t right. The boy had a high fever, and his father took him to an urgent care facility. There, the doctor said it was just a cold or flu and sent them home.
Over the next few days, Emmett’s condition became much worse. He wouldn’t eat, and he was coughing all the time. His mother took him to his pediatrician, and he threw up blood on the way to the doctor’s office.
Karla was absolutely terrified. She had no idea what was going on with her son. An X-ray finally revealed the true cause of Emmett’s symptoms: a button battery stuck in his esophagus.
The family couldn’t believe it. Where could Emmett get that battery? (They later came to realize it was from a DVD remote control).
Button batteries start to react within two hours after being swallowed. The battery was in the boy’s esophagus for a few days, and that was long enough to cause serious damage. Emmett had to undergo dozens of surgeries to eat and breathe on his own again. His esophagus was removed and replaced with a small section of his intestine.
The Rauches want to warn others about the dangers of button batteries for small children. They set up a charity called Emmett’s Fight Foundation to educate other parents about the issue.
What parents need to know about button batteries
If a child swallows a button battery, it can start to react in 2 hours or even less. If it’s not removed immediately, it can cause disability and even death.
Button batteries can be found in just about every home, and it may not be possible to stop using them altogether. This is why all parents should know how to keep these batteries away from their children and what to do if a child does swallow one.
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To prevent your child from swallowing a button battery, do the following:
- Don’t leave spare or used batteries anywhere your child can reach them. Keep spare batteries locked away, and dispose of used batteries in a way that makes it impossible for your child to get his or her hands on them.
- Make sure every device in your home that runs on button batteries has a childproof battery compartment.
- If your child needs a hearing aid, make sure it has a child-resistant battery compartment.
- Educate older children and other family members about the dangers of button batteries and make sure they follow safety rules.
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If your child manages to find and swallow a button battery, here’s what you should (and shouldn’t) do:
- if a child swallowed a button battery, take him or her to the ER right away;
- if you have a sample of the same battery, bring it with you, or bring the device from which the swallowed battery was taken;
- the National Button Battery Ingestion Hotline (800) 498-8666 can help identify the battery;
- don’t give your child anything to eat or drink;
- don’t give your child antacids or medicines that induce vomiting.
It’s always best to prevent accidents than to deal with their serious consequences that may last for years or even a lifetime. Keep your kids safe!
This article is solely for informational purposes. Before using any of the information provided above, consult a certified specialist. Use of the information outlined above can be harmful to health. The editorial board does not guarantee any results and does not bear any responsibility for harm or other consequences that may result from the use of the information provided above.