The tragic passing of an Oklahoma toddler is shedding light on the terrible dangers that small button batteries pose to children and pets.
Two-year-old Brianna Florer spent a wonderful Christmas with her siblings opening presents at her grandparents’ home. It was the “perfect Christmas” according to her grandfather, Kent Vice. But just two days later, she was dead.
The Oklahoman reports that Brianna was running a low-grade fever for a couple of days prior and throwing up. But on Sunday, the toddler was rushed to hospital after she vomited blood and her skin turned blue.
An X-ray revealed that a silver button lithium battery was the cause.
“They operated on her for two-and-a-half hours, but they couldn’t stop the bleeding. They believed the battery ate through to her carotid artery by way of her esophagus,” Vice said. “One minute she is perfect, and the next minute she is dead. We had no idea when she swallowed (the battery).”
Coin lithium batteries such as the one Brianna ingested are increasingly common in many household devices, electronic devices and toys. They can be found in mini remote controls, small calculators, watches, remote keyless entry, flameless candles, singing greeting cards and other electronics.
According to the National Capitol Poison Center in Washington, D.C. there have been 11,940 battery-swallowing incidents involving children under the age of 6 nationally between 2005 and 2014. Of those cases, 15 children died, and another 101 suffered major medical problems. The batteries can also cause serious health complications if they are placed in the nose or ear.
Many safety advisories are cautioning parents about button lithium batteries. The Battery Controlled Australia provides the following safety tips:
- If you suspect a child has swallowed a button battery, immediately call a Poisons Information resource or go to a hospital emergency room.
- Do not let the child eat or drink and do not induce vomiting
- Keep coin-sized button batteries and devices out of sight and out of reach of children.
- Examine devices and make sure the battery compartment is secure.
- Dispose of used button batteries immediately. Flat batteries can still be dangerous.
- Tell others about the risk associated with button batteries and how to keep their children safe.
Please share Brianna’s story with your friends and loved ones so that they will take precautions to child-proof their homes for button batteries.