The number of kids treated in ER's after swallowing batteries -- or lodging them in their noses and ears -- has almost doubled over the past 20 years.(Reuters Health) - The number of kids treated in emergency rooms after swallowing batteries -- or lodging them in their noses and ears -- has almost doubled over the past 20 years, a new study suggests.
Most of those ER trips are due to button batteries, coin-shaped batteries that have become ubiquitous in toys, remote controls and hearing aids and represent a shiny temptation to curious toddlers.
Those batteries carry extra risks, experts said, because if kids swallow them, they can become lodged in the esophagus and start an electrical current flowing through the tissue -- without kids showing any signs of immediate injury.
"If a child swallows a button battery, the parent might not see it happen and the child might not have symptoms initially -- and the clock is ticking," said Dr. Gary Smith, head of the Center for Injury Research and Policy at Nationwide Children's Hospital in Columbus, Ohio and one of the authors on the new study.
"We've seen children in lessRead More »from More Batteries to Blame for Kids' ER Visits