The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) published an article in the June issue of Pediatrics on the significant increase in pediatric button battery ingestion and resulting serious complications.
The button batteries of greatest concern are the batteries containing
lithium. Batteries with lithium can cause severe burns and even death
if swallowed. Lithium batteries are often found in remote controls,
cameras and other household electronic devices. Two studies highlighted
in the article report devastating injuries such as destruction of the
wall of the esophagus and trachea and vocal paralysis. Ingested
batteries need to be removed within two hours to prevent these medical
While hearing aid batteries do not contain lithium, precautions still
need to be taken to prevent accidental ingestion. Audiologists should
be educating patients and families on battery safety.