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If you suspect your child has ingested a button battery, call 911 or seek medical attention immediately!
If you or your child were injured because of a button battery, call an Injury Lawyer from The Carlson Law Firm to discuss filing a Button Battery Lawsuit to recover medical expenses and other losses.
Every year, thousands of children are treated in U.S. emergency departments after swallowing or ingesting lithium coin batteries, or button batteries. more than 2,800 kids are treated for ingesting button batteries. Button batteries are small circular or cylinder single-cell batteries. A Swallowed Battery Lawyer at The Carlson Law Firm can help you file a button battery lawsuit if your child has swallowed a battery. Our lawyers have seen small children get access to button batteries through the following:
- Remote controls
- Key fobs
- Holiday ornaments
- Hearing aids
- Bathroom scales
- Singing greeting cards
- Holiday ornaments
- Electronic jewelry
- Games and toys
This is not an exhaustive list of where button batteries can be found. As technology advances and devices get smarter—and smaller—button batteries are becoming more common in homes.
Five Fast Facts About Button Battery Lawsuits
- 60% of button battery ingestion cases suffer serious erosive lining to the stomach.
- Doctors no longer recommend waiting to see if the button battery passes.
- Button battery lawsuits can be filed against the maker and sellers of the battery as well as the company that designed the product the battery came in.
- A button battery lawyer will examine the cause of your injuries to determine the defect that led to injuries.
- Even “dead” batteries can cause tissue erosion in less than two hours.
What is a button battery lawsuit?
A button battery lawsuit is a type of case that exists when a child or other vulnerable person swallows a button battery and becomes sick. As noted above, these cases often involve severe internal injuries that require extensive medical treatment. The battery can get stuck in the esophagus and burn surrounding tissues. Or the battery can move into the stomach and destroy the lining of the stomach.
Why are button batteries so dangerous?
First, button batteries pose a danger to small children because they are similar in size to coins. This is where they get the alternate moniker coin batteries. Parents of young children know to keep coins and other small items out of reach. However, parents may give their child a toy or leave car keys on the coffee table without realizing button batteries are present.
Secondly, batteries can be extremely dangerous devices if improperly used or handled. They store chemical energy which then converts to electrical energy. Batteries are made up of toxic chemicals including lithium, cadmium, sulfuric acid and lead.
Additional button battery dangers include the following:
- Design. By design, these batteries are extremely slim and where the current flows in and out are extremely close. As a result, a high current passes quickly through the body’s salty tissue. It is the electrical current that generates heat that can cause serious burns within two hours of swallowing.
- Easily ingested. A child can swallow a button battery without choking or coughing. This means there may not be signs that your child ingested a battery without you seeing it or until it causes more severe symptoms.
- Dangerous with little to no charge. Even with little to no charge, lithium batteries can cause damage. This is why it is so important to properly dispose of these batteries once they no longer work.
- Varied symptoms. A child who swallows a battery might be unlikely to tell anyone. For example, young children may not remember doing it, or they may be nonverbal. Older kids, on the other hand, are often reluctant to say anything for fear of getting in trouble.
Lastly, button batteries can also become lodged in a child’s nostril or ears.
What happens when a button battery is ingested?
According to texaschildrens.org, every three hours a child visits an emergency room after ingesting a battery. Even when they’re not powering a device, lithium batteries have strong currents.
Step by step of what happens when a child ingests a battery
- When a child puts a battery to their mouth, an electrical and chemical reaction occurs.
- The button battery may get lodged in the esophagus or make its way into the stomach.
- The battery will immediately begin eroding the surrounding tissue.
- In the stomach, the battery can perforate the gastric wall, damage the mucus lining and more.
Symptoms of battery ingestion
Following ingestion of a button battery, a child might present the following:
- Chest discomfort
- Refusal to eat
- Gagging when attempting to drink or eat
How should I respond if my child has swallowed a button battery?
No matter where in the body the battery is, it can cause significant tissue damage that can lead to death. Researchers from the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, however, have found that giving honey can reduce injuries caused by a button battery at regular intervals until the child can be seen by a doctor. They warn that honey is not a substitute for medical attention.
If your child or someone close to you swallows a button battery the following steps might save their life:
- Seek immediate medical attention.
- Do not wait to see if the button battery passes on its own.
- Do not induce vomiting.
- Avoid giving them food or drink.
While honey can help children over 12 months, researchers warned against using it if the esophagus is perforated or the child. Further, children under one year should never be given honey because of the risk of infant botulism.
How can I protect my child from accessing button batteries?
It’s important to note that any kind of battery can be swallowed. However, the small size of button batteries makes them far easier to swallow without a parent noticing. To avoid battery poisoning consider the following tips:
- Put car keys on a hook or countertop that small children cannot reach.
- Avoid toys or games with small battery compartments for children in the mouth exploration stage.
- Search your home for gadgets that may contain coin lithium batteries and put them out of reach of children.
- Keep loose batteries secured and locked away from children.
- Ensure that all battery-powered children’s toys have a screw on the battery compartment.
- While singing cards usually aren’t powered by lithium batteries, it’s still best to supervise children when these types of cards are nearby.
Prevention is key in avoiding battery poisoning.
How The Carlson Law Firm Can Help
We have successfully represented victims of button battery incidents. When filing a personal injury claim in Texas, one of the first and most important actions to take after an injury occurs is to enlist a knowledgeable lawyer who can help you file a claim.
At The Carlson Law Firm, we can provide a level of representation that has been given recognition with awards and accolades that can be used to your advantage. With the number of attorneys at our firm, we have the ability to provide the comprehensive representation you need for your case. For The Carlson Law Firm, each client is unique and each case should be handled uniquely. For personalized service with quality you can trust, contact our firm today!