Since 1 January 2018, the Dutch Association of Pediatricians (NVK) has asked pediatricians to report all incidents involving button cell batteries. It is also requested to provide an update every quarter on the recovery of the injuries.
The suspicion is that the problem is getting bigger and bigger.
This increase would coincide with the introduction of batteries with a diameter larger than 2 centimeters, which will stick more easily.
Dangers of Swallowing Button Batteries
At the Erasmus MC in Rotterdam, three children who had swallowed a button battery were recently brought in at one week. Normally this number is one new case every month. The number of victims is frightening because the damage can be great. Sixteen children have become seriously disabled since 2008 and two children have even died.As per estimate every year 10 to 20 children with swallowed batteries end up in their emergency room.
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If babies or toddlers swallow button batteries, this can result in lifelong damage to vital organs. If the battery simply enters the stomach, it usually leaves the body through the natural path. But if the battery gets stuck in the esophagus, it can cause burns and perforations. If the battery is not removed surgically in time, serious injury such as paralysis can occur.
The flat, round batteries the size of a euro coin are in toys, remote controls, lights and many other electronic devices. Doctors ask products to be designed differently so that the battery compartment is more difficult or can only be opened with a tool. It would also be good if there were a warning on the packaging of batteries.
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