Button battery ingestion represents a dire emergency, particularly for young children who are naturally curious and prone to putting objects in their mouths. These small, shiny batteries, often found in everyday household items like remote controls, calculators, and toys, can pose a significant risk if ingested. The consequences of button battery ingestion can be swift and severe, leading to serious internal damage and even death if not addressed promptly. In this comprehensive article, we will delve into the urgent nature of button battery ingestion, exploring the potential internal damage it can cause, the importance of immediate action, and essential prevention measures to safeguard against this critical emergency.

Immediate Danger

Button battery ingestion presents an immediate and severe danger, particularly to young children. These small, shiny objects may seem harmless, but when swallowed, they can cause significant internal damage if not addressed promptly.

button battery ingestion

Internal Damage

Upon ingestion, a button battery can become lodged in the esophagus or stomach. This can lead to tissue damage, perforation, and potentially fatal consequences if left untreated. The electrical charge from the battery can trigger a chemical reaction, causing burns and tissue erosion within hours.

Urgent Action Required

Prompt medical attention is absolutely crucial upon suspecting button battery ingestion. Time is of the essence in such cases. Without delay, rush the child to the nearest hospital emergency department for assessment and treatment.

Temporary First Aid with Honey

If immediate medical help is not readily accessible, there are temporary first-aid measures that can be taken. Administering honey can offer temporary relief by coating the battery and potentially reducing tissue damage. The sticky consistency of honey helps create a barrier between the battery and the delicate tissues of the esophagus. It is recommended to administer 10 milliliters (almost 2 teaspoons) of honey every 10 minutes, up to six doses, while awaiting professional medical assistance.


Honey should not be given to children under the age of 1 year as it can contain a type of bacteria (called Clostridium) that causes infant botulism. Infant botulism can cause muscle weakness, with signs like poor sucking, a weak cry, constipation, and decreased muscle tone (floppiness).

Damage by button battery with and without honey

Not a Substitute for Professional Care

It’s crucial to understand that honey is not a substitute for proper medical treatment. While it may provide temporary relief, it does not address the underlying damage caused by the battery. Delaying professional care can significantly increase the risk of complications and long-term health issues for the affected individual.

Prevention Measures

Prevention is always better than cure when it comes to button battery ingestion. To minimize the risk:

  • Keep button batteries and devices containing them out of reach of children.
  • Ensure that battery compartments in household items are secure and child-resistant to prevent easy access.
  • Educate caregivers, parents, and family members about the dangers of button battery ingestion and the importance of keeping these items safely stored away from children.


In conclusion, button battery ingestion is a serious and potentially life-threatening emergency, especially for young children. Understanding the risks, knowing first aid procedures, and implementing preventive measures are essential steps in addressing this hazard. Immediate action, coupled with awareness and prevention, can help safeguard children from the dangers posed by button batteries.


How common is button battery ingestion in children?

Button battery ingestion is unfortunately more common than many people realize, especially among young children who are naturally curious and may explore their environment by putting objects into their mouths.

What are the symptoms of button battery ingestion?ple and a potentially dangerous acne lesion within the Triangle of Death?

Symptoms may vary depending on the location and severity of the battery’s lodgment, but common signs include vomiting, drooling, chest pain, difficulty swallowing, coughing, and abdominal pain. If you suspect a child has ingested a button battery, seek immediate medical attention.

What are the potential complications of button battery ingestion?

Complications can be severe and include tissue damage, perforation of the esophagus or stomach, internal bleeding, and even death in rare cases. Prompt medical intervention is crucial to minimize the risk of long-term health consequences.

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