HEALTH

Kids swallowing batteries increasing

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A new study finds there’s a growing danger found in everyday electronic devices. The study reports that the number of cases of children being rushed to emergency rooms after swallowing button-sized batteries has doubled in the last 20 years.

The study, from the journal Pediatrics, finds that about 65,000 kids have been taken to emergency rooms after swallowing button batteries or putting them into their ears or noses.

Most of the children are 5 or younger. The relatively new 3 volt 20 mm lithium batteries are the likely culprit.

One reason these hospital visits have increased 118% is because the button batteries power things all over the house now, from watches to calculators to remote car keys to kids toys.

One little boy, Max removed one from the family's TV clicker. And he nearly died after swallowing it. He was fortunate, doctors were able to remove it during emergency surgery.

At the National Capital Poison Center, officials tell parents to treat batteries like medication. Keep it locked up, out of childrens’ reach. Tape up battery compartments, so children can't get them.

Officials at the Poison Center are asking government regulatory authorities to require a screw closure on all household items that have battery compartments - to make them childproof.

While some kids pass the batteries through their systems harmlessly, others can get the batteries lodged in their throats, where they can begin to erode the lining of the esophagus within two hours, according to ABC News.

Here are some tips from ABC News:

*If you see your child drooling, having difficulty swallowing, or vomiting, take him or her to the emergency department to get evaluated.

*Do not second guess whether anything was ingested. Leave that to the emergency room doctors to determine. Time is critical with battery ingestions.

*If children are not taken to the operating room within two hours, the outcomes could be fatal.

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