The Danger of Button Batteries – December 2016

Monthly Round Up of Important Ideas and Standards in
Industrial Hygiene and Safety

December 2016

IN THIS ISSUE: The Danger of Button Batteries

During the Holidays, children will want to open all their presents and play with them as soon as possible. Very young children like to put things things in their mouths and toys with small objects can be especially dangerous if swallowed. Most parents are aware of the hazard and will keep these items away from small children.

There is an additional danger from button or coin lithium batteries found in remote control devices and keyless remote door openers for vehicles. These little silver-colored batteries power everything from toys and electronics to watches and musical greeting cards and can be very dangerous.If swallowed or placed in the nose or ears, button batteries can cause serious injury or death. When swallowed, these small batteries can get stuck in the throat. The saliva triggers an electric current which causes a chemical reaction that can severely burn the esophagus in as little as two hours.

Over the past few years, more than 80 kids nationwide have suffered permanent damage from injuries caused by ingesting button batteries. Over 3,500 kids swallowed button batteries and 15 children have died. This has prompted the Consumer Product Safety Commission to reach out to battery manufacturers and is encouraged by recent efforts that have resulted in new safety warnings and packaging changes. CPSC is working with industry, public health officials and the global community to continue the progress of preventing button battery-related incidents.

If your child swallows a button battery realize that this is an emergency and need immediate medical attention. Take your child to an Emergency Department, ideally one in a Children’s Hospital, immediately.

Keep your children safe by:

  • Not allowing children to play with or be in contact with button batteries.
  • Knowing where the batteries are in the home and keeping them safely away from children.
  • Knowing the specific devices that contain button batteries.
  • Securing them out of reach of children at all times.
  • Telling everyone what you know about the risk of button batteries.

The holidays are a great opportunity to enjoy time with family and friends, celebrate life, to be grateful, and reflect on what’s important. Let’s all have a healthy, happy, and safe season.

For more information on this topic and to discuss your company’s safety and industrial hygiene needs call OccuSafe at (214) 662-6005 or visit us at
OccuSafe Industrial Hygiene & Safety, Inc. provides skills and expertise to recognize, evaluate and control hazards and injuries in the areas of industrial hygiene, occupational safety and health. OccuSafe services companies of all sizes in a range of industries.

This newsletter is published monthly by OccuSafe Industrial Hygiene & Safety Services, Inc. Feel free to forward it to friends and colleagues.

Comments are closed.