A child's own belongings may be battery-safe, but if your toddler can pick up your remote or iPod docking (see below), he or she is in danger.
"...Two days after the battery was removed, Aidan began coughing blood, and soon died from his injuries.
To this day, Aidan’s parents don’t know where the battery came from. “This is something I would never want another parent to live with,” said Michelle Truett, Aidan’s mother. “I was oblivious as to how dangerous they were, and I want more people to know the danger.”
Such deaths are extremely rare. There were fewer than 10 documented during the last six years. But ingestion of lithium cell batteries, which children may mistake for candy and elderly adults for medication, is a surprisingly common problem, documented this week in two reports in the medical journal Pediatrics.
About 3,500 cases of button cell battery ingestion are reported annually to poison control centers. But while swallowing batteries has occurred for years, the development of larger, stronger lithium cell batteries has increased the risk of severe complications.
Data from the National Capital Poison Center in Washington found a sevenfold increase in severe complications from button cell ingestions in recent years. Moderate to severe cases have risen from less than a half percent (about a dozen cases per year) to about 3 percent (nearly 100 cases per year), based on a review of 56,000 cases since 1985.
...13-month-old Kaiden Vasquez of Bristow, Va., picked up the remote control to his parent’s iPod docking station. Somehow, he dislodged the battery and swallowed it. But his parents did not notice the missing battery when he began crying hysterically and could not be calmed. Emergency room doctors diagnosed a stomach flu, but a week later the child’s pediatrician took an X-ray and saw what he thought was a quarter. When the round item was removed, doctors discovered the battery and kept Kaiden for observation. The battery had burned a hole in his esophagus and trachea and he required a feeding tube and two months of home nursing care.
Kaiden, who will be 3 in July, has recovered, although severe reflux after the incident damaged his teeth. “I don’t allow any of those disc batteries into my home,” said Kaiden’s mother, Amy Vasquez, who has three other young children. “I never thought a remote would do so much damage to my child. "