LANSING, Mich. (WLNS) — New research from the journal Pediatrics reveals that emergency 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. Health experts say the effects of swallowing a battery are serious and can be deadly.
According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, every three hours, a child will visit the ER after consuming a battery.
Officials say 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.
Time is of the essence once a child swallows a battery. One of the most important steps parents can take is to call the poison helpline.
Health officials warn parents not to let their child eat or drink after swallowing a battery.
To slow the harmful effects of swallowing a batter, health experts say to give your child honey. If your child is over 1-year-old, it is recommended to give him or her two teaspoons every 10 minutes for up to six 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 weekly 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.”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.