The risk of button batteries for children
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Great Ormond Street Hospital has warned parents about the dangers of button batteries as the number of children admitted to hospital after swallowing them has risen dramatically. They say that on average they treat one child every month for swallowing one of the tiny batteries. The batteries can often be found in electronic toys, hearing aids, watches and calculators.
They can cause, if swallowed, health problems, for example if they become stuck in the oesophagus they can burn through the tissue in as little as 15 minutes. If the batteries are swallowed it normally follows that an operation is required to remove the battery. There is also a risk of death if the battery acid erodes a blood vessel.
Parents are being encouraged to watch out for the danger signs such as vomiting, difficulties in swallowing, choking and chest infections. If you suspect your child has swallowed a battery you are recommended to take your child to hospital immediately.
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