Battery safety: Button batteries

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Button batteries
Figure #: Text version below.
Button batteries: Text description

Seven, round, flat, silver button batteries in various sizes ranging from 0.5cm to 2.5cm, with a groove near the round edge.

Button batteries are shiny, small enough to swallow and can be found in many household items that children can access, such as:

  • toys
  • watches and calculators
  • thermometers and scales
  • small electronic devices, like:
    • key chains
    • hearing aids
    • remote controls
  • reading lights and flameless candles
  • musical greeting cards and singing books
  • light up or flashing jewellery, clothing and shoes

What to do if your child swallows a button battery

If you suspect your child has swallowed a button battery, seek immediate emergency medical attention. Do not wait for symptoms to develop.

A swallowed button battery can result in significant injury and death. It's important to act quickly if your child has swallowed a button battery.

A button battery can lodge in a child's throat where an electrical current is triggered by saliva. This causes a chemical reaction that can burn through the esophagus in as little as 2 hours.

Health organizations like Ontario Poison Centre and Alberta Health Services advise giving your child honey on the way to the emergency department to reduce the risk of serious injury.

Do not delay getting your child to the nearest hospital.

Safety tips

Follow these safety tips to help keep your child away from button batteries:

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