A new report out today in the medical journal, Pediatrics, states that batteries pose an important hazard to children, especially those under five years of age.
The study reported more than 65,000 emergency room visits in the last 20 years that involved children who had ingested batteries. According to an article by ABC News, the overwhelming majority of these hospital visits were due to button batteries. Because button batteries--the small lithium batteries that power everything from remote controls to hearing aids--mimic candies and can easily be swallowed, they are very appealing to children.
Dr. Ian Jacobs, associate professor of ear, nose and throat at the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia, a doctor who recently treated a child with significant injuries from battery ingestion and interviewed by ABC News, says that if a lithium battery stays lodged in the esophagus for more than two hours, the battery can erode through the soft tissue of the esophagus and cause a hole. Sometimes the damage done is fatal.
Gary Smith, director of the Center for Injury Research and Policy at Nationwide Children's Hospital in Columbus, Ohio, is reported as saying these new button batteries are "more powerful and can cause tissue damage much more quickly" than older types of batteries. The article out today in USA Today reporting on the new Pediatrics' study goes on to report that Smith explains that if a battery "lands with its negative pole in contact with tissue fluids in the lining of the esophagus, a microcurrent can generate hydroxide, resulting in alkaline burns and performations of the esophagus in less than two hours.
The study published in Pediatrics concluded by calling for increased prevention efforts to slow the increasing number and rate of battery-ingestion related emergency room visits amoung children.
If your child ingested a battery and suffered serious injury, contact one of our
defective product lawyers today for a free, non-obligation legal consultation.