Young children are curious by nature, and one of the first things they do when they find something new is put it in their mouth. That curiosity, coupled with the fact that technology is making electronic devices smaller and sleeker than ever, can pose a dangerous, life-threatening risk to your children. Every year, nearly 3,000 children are treated in emergency rooms after swallowing the button batteries that are found in such devices, and that number is increasing. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, approximately 40,000 children under 13 were treated for swallowing batteries from 1997 to 2010, many with serious results, including death.
Ross Feller Casey, based in Philadelphia with a national reputation for record personal injury recoveries, has won multi-million cases involving children who were injured as a result of swallowing button batteries and doctors failing to timely recognize the problem.
More and More Products Use Button Batteries
Button batteries are the small coin-shaped batteries found in many of today’s electronic devices. They are commonly found in:
- electronic toys
- hearing aids
- singing greeting cards
- remote controls
- bathroom scales
- flashing jewelry and toys
- hand-held games
- key-less entry devices
- digital thermometers
While the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission has regulations regarding the accessibility of batteries in toys intended for children under 12, the danger lies in children having access to other products not intended for them.
Symptoms of Battery Ingestion
Some parents might not know their child has swallowed a battery.
When a button battery is swallowed, or inhaled through the nose, it can become lodged in the esophagus. Within just two hours, an electrical current can form around the battery due to a buildup of hydroxide, burning through the tissue causing hemorrhaging, chemical burns, tears in the esophagus and even death. Symptoms of an ingested battery include abdominal pain, vomiting, diarrhea, fever, and difficulty breathing and swallowing.
Call 911 If Your Child Has Swallowed a Battery
If your child has swallowed a button battery, or you suspect that he or she has, you must seek medical help immediately by calling 911, or taking your child to the nearest emergency room. You can also call the National Poison Control Center at 1-800-222-1222, or the National Battery Ingestion Hotline at 202-625-3333. Do not make the child vomit or let him or her eat or drink. Your child will usually get an X-ray to confirm that the battery is in the body. If a battery is stuck in the body, getting it out is the only way to stop further injury, although damage can continue even after the battery is dislodged or removed.
If your child has been injured by or treated for battery ingestion, you should contact one of the experienced attorneys at Ross Feller Casey. The firm has a team of nationally recognized doctor-lawyers on staff to help determine if you have a case and how to proceed.
The attorneys at Ross Feller Casey handle cases on a contingency basis, so there will never be a cost to you unless there is a financial recovery in your case. Please contact us for a free consultation and review of your case.