Swallowed a Button Cell Battery? Nope (Thankfully)

Written by mom - 6 Comments

My husband took all four boys to the bowling alley the other afternoon, so I decided to listen to Christmas carols and put away the Christmas tree. In no time at all, the living room looked like a tornado had hit. Amidst the chaos I discovered some tiny bits of trash. Unfortunately, this wasn’t just ordinary trash. I had found two opened six-packs of button cell batteries, and I could only find one battery.

I immediately assumed our two year old had gotten into them. And worse yet, I assumed he thought they were a new kind of “silver mint” candy and ingested them. My husband returned shortly there after with the boys. When asked about the trash our toddler said, “I broke that.” He had obviously been into the batteries in one capacity or another but future questions were met with incoherent answers.

My husband called the National Button Battery Ingestion Hotline at (202) 625-3333. The woman on the other end of the line said our son needed an x-ray to make sure none of the batteries were lodged in his esophagus. In the mean time, I was talking with our pediatrician who also said that he needed an x-ray NOW!

Son #4 and I therefore hustled over to the Urgent Care Facility which was about to close. They whisked us back, took two shots of his chest and abdomen and sent us back to our room to await the results. The doctor came in and asked a few grumbly questions (work on that bed side manner, dude!) and then went out to read the x-rays.

Good news! No batteries in the esophagus! In fact, there weren’t any batteries at all! Thank God for HUGE favors. Apparently, our son had only played with the trash and didn’t eat any of the “silver mints” (batteries). By the way, if there were batteries in his esophagus, they would have been removed with an endoscope. On the other hand, if the batteries had made it past the esophagus then they’d want us to bulk up his diet and let them pass naturally as long as there were no other symptoms.

Published on January 5th, 2007 - 6 Comments
Filed under: Child Safety,Health
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Comments (scroll down to add your own):

  1. That must have been scary! I’m glad he didn’t swallow any.

    Did you ever find the missing batteries? It doesn’t mean that he won’t at some point in the future.

    Comment by Blaine Moore — Jan 5th 2007 @ 1:05 pm
  2. You’re right. I found one of them, but there are still others unaccounted for. So we’re definitely on the lookout.

    Comment by dad — Jan 6th 2007 @ 7:43 pm
  3. Actually, husband, they must have been partially used packages. The house has been picked up (we even vacuumed under the couch). No batteries around the house (or in the baby). Thank you for your concern, Blaine.

    Comment by mom — Jan 7th 2007 @ 8:08 am
  4. I stand corrected… 🙂

    Comment by dad — Jan 7th 2007 @ 1:19 pm
  5. Friday night, I found out that my 1 and 3 year old cousins had to go to the emergency room after the 3 year old climbed up and got a child-proof bottle of cough syrup. She managed to get it open and shared a little with her little sister, but drank most of it herself.

    They are both okay, but it was scary to hear about. My uncle got a medicine cabinet the next day that requires a key to open.

    Just because a package says “child proof” doesn’t mean that they can’t open it, just that it is not obvious how to open it. When we start having kids, I am going to have to remember not to open things where the kids can see how it is done, especially if they are as quick as my cousin is to figure things like that out. She says that she put the bottle on the floor, pushed as hard as she could, and twisted!

    Comment by Blaine Moore — Jan 9th 2007 @ 9:19 am
  6. I swallowed a small cell battery about the size of a dime. I made myself throw up and i didn’t see it so what do I do?

    Comment by hunter — Oct 7th 2009 @ 8:28 pm

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