We think of small batteries as watch or hearing aid batteries, but they’re found in a variety of small electronic devices now. Some of these inevitably find their way into kids’ mouths, because that’s what kids do.
They’re dangerous, though. Really, really dangerous. The single batteries react with saliva, burning the esophagus with an electrical charge. Burns bad enough to require surgical repair can happen in just a few hours after ingesting a battery.
The family of the toddler in Las Vegas didn’t find out what killed him until after an autopsy was performed. The child died of internal bleeding with lacerations in his esophagus, gastric irritation, and a collapsed lung.
His family doesn’t know where the battery came from or how or when he ingested it. Authorities have ruled his death an accident, but local Family Services is involved in the case.
What’s the solution? Obviously, supervision is important. Don’t leave a small child playing with a remote control unattended. Some experts recommend taping shut the battery compartments of any appliances that use the tiny coin-shaped batteries.
Las Vegas toddler dies from swallowing small battery [Review-Journal]