If you knew that your child has swallowed a battery, your first and most obvious reaction would be–panic. After all, there can be devastating effects of the battery on your child’s body. Both button batteries or lithium coin batteries if swallowed can cause injury when it is stuck in a child’s nose or ear, and can also lead to death.
While the Internet is filled with dos and don’ts on battery ingestion, this mum shared her real experience of what happened when her daughter came and said, “Daddy sorry, I put battery in my mouth.”
Button Batterie(s) Ingestion Confirmed Via X-Ray
Image courtesy: MommyNicole
On the fateful day, mummy Nicole and her husband were frantically searching for a button battery, which the latter kept on his table. He was supposed to buy new ones for his calculator. But as it turns out, their daughter Thalie had reached for it first.
The mum warns that while accidents happen, this could have been prevented if only they were a little mindful and had kept it somewhere higher.
Here are three things that Nicole says should be kept in mind when your child has swallowed a battery.
- Do not induce vomiting: She tried to induce vomiting to check if the battery was still stuck in her throat. The mum shared, “I found out it was wrong and it stressed Thalie and she kept on crying.”
- Give honey: This tip which she learnt from TikTok was useful.
- Take them to the ER immediately: It took them three hospitals before Thalie was actually admitted to the ER. An X-ray was done, which immediately confirmed battery ingestion. They called the Poison Control Department in PGH to seek advice.
Doctors decided to wait before taking any drastic step
The child’s doctor decided to wait before taking any drastic step, like surgery. Thalie was not given any food or drink because the doctors were afraid that it can react with the battery which was inside her body.
Nicole’s daughter was only given dextrose and suppository, but it still didn’t come out of her stool.
By this time Thalie was hungry and was complaining about it. So, after 18 hours of going completely without food, she got a green signal to eat. Post which, she naturally pooped, but the battery was nowhere to be seen.
After 41 Hours Of Button Battery Ingestion, She Finally Pooped The Battery Out
Image courtesy: MommyNicole
After 32 hours of the button battery ingestion, repeat X-rays were performed and there was no sign of hope. The battery hadn’t moved an inch. It looked stuck in the terminal ileum, which is the most distal segment of the small bowel.
They feared that since it was a very small hole, if the battery didn’t fit there, they might have to open her up.
Mum Nicole prayed and desperately hoped for a miracle. Thankfully, after 41 hours of battery ingestion, her baby finally pooped it out. The entire family rejoiced, the battery was cleaned and there was no corrosion, and so Thalie was sent home the same day.
Thalie was kept under observation for the next 48 hours
The doctors asked the parents to monitor their daughter for the next 48 hours and look out for any symptoms of stomach ache, vomiting and blood in her poop.
Thalie is thankfully doing well and has not developed any pain or complications.
Nicole concludes, “It pays to have a talkative child’ during this kind of situation. If she hadn’t informed us right away, we wouldn’t have come to know that she ingested a battery. We are grateful to have surpassed this time.”
While Thalie was able to come out of this accident unhurt, not everybody is as lucky. Battery ingestion can often turn fatal, hence parents need to be extremely careful.
Button Batteries Ingestion: How Can It Harm Children?
The challenge is if a child happens to ingest a button battery or a lithium coin battery, the symptoms in most cases are absent or are similar to those of infection. This can make it tough for health care professionals to know more about the case.
Both these batteries are extremely dangerous and can be found in many electronic devices. They are found in remote controls and in many of your child’s games and toys.
You must make sure that these dangerous batteries are away from the reach of your little ones.
What Happens When A Child Ingests A Battery
When battery comes in contact with body fluids, it generates a current that produces small amounts of sodium hydroxide. This is a harsh corrosive which is similar to lye.
In case the battery gets stuck somewhere in the body, the lye can burn a hole in that spot. Then infection follows. It can result in serious injury, long-term disability, or even death.
Hence, it is important that parents and caregivers are made aware of the risks posed by button batteries or even lithium batteries. Always keep any loose and spare batteries locked and out of the reach of your child.
However, know that accidents can still happen. In that scenario, you must limit damage to surrounding tissue, and treat an injury that has occurred, or better yet, rush to the doctor immediately.
This article has been republished from theAsianparent-Philippines with permission.
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