Battery Ingestion Overview
In recent years, our electronic toys and gadgets have become increasingly miniaturized. Their power requirements are being met by a new generation of compact, high-performance batteries. These disk batteries are small, pill- or coin-shaped devices that contain heavy metals such as zinc, mercury, silver, nickel, cadmium, and lithium. They also contain concentrated solutions of caustic electrolytes, usually potassium or sodium hydroxide. Their compact size and harmless appearance hide their true danger.
The danger comes when children (and sometimes adults) knowingly or mistakenly put these tiny batteries in their mouths and swallow them.
Most swallowed batteries cause no problem.
Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 12/2/2014
Kenneth I Steinberg, DO
Beth A Longenecker, DO
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